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February 17, 1995 - Image 90

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-02-17

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U.S. figures for 1993 — the last
complete year available — Israel
sent $4.420 billion worth of goods
to the United States and import-
ed $4.429 billion from the U.S.
There are no figures available
on a state-by-state basis, but
Michigan is working hard to in-
crease its exports to Israel. The
Michigan International Trade
Authority has a bilateral
trade team working with Is-
rael. The team includes De-
troit attorney Michael
Traison, chairman of the
Michigan-Israel Chamber of
While the trade authority's
main purpose is to expand
Michigan exports, it also lists
seven companies doing busi-
ness in Michigan which are
subsidiaries of Israeli firms.
They include Cubital of
Troy, which makes rapid pro-
totype machinery; Elbit Sys-
tems in Grand Rapids, which
develops military electronics;
Quikcoup in Houghton, fire
sprinkler pipefittings; Robo-
matix in Wixom, laser robot-
ics for automotive and
aerospace; Sharnoa in Ply-
mouth, machining centers;
Tecnomatix in Novi, robotics
Sabah Yaldoo: Israeli products at Yaldoo's
software; and Urdan in South-
suppliers in the area. Instead of field, metal products.
Robomatix and Cubital have
talking thousands of dollars in
imported products, like the food similar operations. The two sell
chains, the manufacturers will systems to the automotive and
other industries and service their
be talking millions.
"It was not like this one or two products in North America from
years ago," says Oded Boneh, Detroit area offices.
Robomatix, according to Craig
head of the Israeli economic mis-
sion attached to the Israeli con- Pearce, vice president of business
sulate in Chicago. At that time, development, does approximate-
the mission "tried a few trade ini- ly $10 million in business each
tiatives" with Chrysler, Ford and year from its Wixom facility, sell-
ing robotic manufacturing sys-
General Motors.
Those efforts have laid the tems to GM, Ford, Chrysler,
groundwork for others, Mr. Boeing and others.
Cubital, according to customer
Boneh says. "Just a few months
ago, the president of General Mo- support manager Eitan Bere-
tors (John Smith Jr.) was in Is- zowitz, has sold only five ma-
rael. They are going to open a chines in the last two years from
its Troy offices. But at $500,000
small subsidiary there."
Les Schoonover of General Mo- apiece, they are a significant in-
tors' international department vestment.
The company's products allow
has made 14 trips to Israel, in-
cluding a visit last month "to manufacturers to design and
identify and develop suppliers." build prototype parts more quick-
He says GM does "several mil- ly than conventional systems.
While old-time Detroiters can
lion dollars of business per year
with Israel" and is trying to ex- remember appeals to buy Israeli
pand that in order to balance its food products in order to support
the Jewish state, Israel's high-
trade with Israel.
Interestingly, overall trade be- tech industries in the 1990s ap-
tween Israel and the United pear to be taking over as Israel's
States is balanced. According to biggest export to Detroit. ❑

The Government of Israel
Trade and Economics Office in
Chicago is organizing a major
event in Detroit in June. With the
help of the Michigan-Israel
Chamber of Commerce, it will
host representatives of 15-25 Is-
raeli manufacturers who will
meet one-on-one with automotive

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