©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Asahi R&D Opens New High-Tech Facility in Ypsilanti

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Michael Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Company Made First Use of State's High Tech Tax Incentive

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today congratulated AGC Automotive Americas R&D, Inc. on the completion of its new, high-tech facility expansion in Ypsilanti. Both the expansion and original facility were made possible by the use of a high-tech tax credit from the state that encourages companies to make major R&D investments in Michigan that lead to high-paying jobs. AGC is the first company to utilize this high-tech tax credit incentive.

"AGC could not have found a better location to create this groundbreaking facility to spearhead its research and development efforts," Granholm said. "The company's decision affirms Michigan as the epicenter of North American automotive research and development."

Granholm noted that, according to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, more automotive-related research and development dollars are invested in Michigan each year than the other 49 states combined. The Governor's automotive strategy includes targeted initiatives to increase automotive manufacturing and R&D investments and jobs in the state.

In 2000, AGC was considering two competing locations for construction of the state-of-the-art facility. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation offered Asahi a $3 million Single Business Tax (SBT) credit to encourage the company to build in Ypsilanti instead of Richmond, Kentucky.

The tax credit was made possible by an amendment to the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Act, which allowed the MEDC to offer SBT credits to companies making large capital investments in high-tech research, development and manufacturing.

"We are very thankful to the state of Michigan, Charter Township of Ypsilanti and all those who were instrumental in assisting in the creation of the regions most technologically advanced electronic testing facility," said Bill Dankmyer, president of Asahi Glass America. "Our company is very excited about the new products that will be made possible as a result of this research center."

AGC has invested approximately $11 million in the Ypsilanti facility. According to a company spokesman, five of the 26 people employed full time have Ph.D.s.

"This development clearly shows the value of actively pursuing high-tech company investments in Michigan," MEDC President and CEO Donald E. Jakeway said. "The technological know-how and innovation realized by these R&D centers is laying the foundation for Michigan's 21st century economy."

AGC unveiled the new facility at a reception event this morning. AGC Automotive Americas R&D, Inc. was incorporated in 1997 for research, development, prototyping, evaluation and experimental activities of automotive window related products and technology.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.