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DETROIT – January 17, 2013 – Online Tech, with plans to become the largest data center operator in the Midwest, is expanding as cloud computing reshapes the auto industry.

In-car Wi Ficonnected dashboards and more music options are among the data-dependant features highlighted in new and concept vehicles at this week’s North American International Auto Show.

Industry executive are simultaneously moving the underpinnings of their supply chains to the cloud. Big data demands are expected to drive $232 billion in IT spending between now and 2016.

“The 2011 Asian Earthquakes and Tsunami were a wake-up call for the entire auto industry,’’ said Online Tech Co-CEO Mike Klein. “Those disasters showed the extreme vulnerability of many manufacturing supply chains. Decentralized supply chains fared better. Suppliers learned back-up systems are essential.”

Manufacturing has been growing, particularly in Michigan, with new auto sales expected to return to the 15 million mark this year. Recent natural disasters, however, have highlighted the vulnerability of often-fragile global supply chains. Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina knocked out data centers in vulnerable coastal areas.

Michigan, in comparison, is safer from natural disaster than any other state in the Continental United States.

Realizing most of the nation’s data centers are in disaster prone areas, auto suppliers and OEMs are increasingly looking more to growing in the Midwest.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently predicted data centers will dominate technology growth in 2013 because businesses need collaborative solutions and consumers are demanding choice and multiple online options.

“Michigan has a big advantage as the need for greater amounts of secure data grows,’’ Klein said.