Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, is following a well-worn path this week, making a trade mission to Europe.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder with Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne/photo via @onetoughnerd

Snyder’s tweeting photos of his trip via his @onetoughnerd account. Here’s one he sent home from Turin, Italy,  of himself with Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne (we’re pretty sure that’s not a hockey beard).

Snyder is also answering tweets from his followers about the trip, pointing out several times that the trade mission is paid for with private funds and isn’t costing the state’s taxpayers anything.

The governor’s goal is to promote the state to foreign investors as a good place to invest.Thus far, his itinerary has taken him to Turin, where he’s met with Fiat officials and company suppliers, and to Stuttgart, Germany, home base for Daimler. (Remember that Daimler used to own Chrysler, now under the wing of Fiat.)

Snyder is also taking some time out to be, well, nerdy. In a tweet this morning, he wrote, “Whoever is the next person to follow me on Twitter becomes my 8,297th follower, which is exciting because that’s a prime number.”

Chrysler Corp. and General Motors both said Thursday they were spending a combined almost $800 million to invest in new small car production in Belvidere, Illinois and Lansing, Michigan.

Chrysler said it would spend $600 million at the Belvidere plant, retaining the 2400 jobs that are there and at a nearby stamping facility. Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that the company is “expected to build a new generation of Fiat-based vehicles”. Work on the plant expansion, which began this summer, is expected to end 2011.

GM also said on Thursday it will spend $190 million to build a new Cadillac at its Lansing Grand River plant, adding 600 jobs and a second shift to the plant. According to the Associated Press story, the plant has 1,100 workers and already is building the Cadillac CTS and STS sedans. The jobs will be filled by laid-off GM workers.

The Chrysler plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin is on its last shift this week – it’s expected to close its doors on Friday. We reported on the story earlier this week.fiat-chrysler