Granholm: Ford Chooses Michigan to Manufacture its First Battery Electric Vehicle, New Fuel-Efficient Cars

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Investment to retain thousands of jobs, make state a leader in new generation of vehicles

LANSING– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Ford Motor Company plans to invest up to $550 million to convert the Michigan assembly plant in Wayne, which previously manufactured large-body vehicles such as the Expedition and Navigator, into a flexible facility that will manufacture smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles and Ford’s first battery electric vehicle.

The project is expected to retain 3,200 jobs with the potential to increase to 4,700 jobs over the next five years. According to an economic analysis conducted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the project also is expected to create and retain more than 12,000 indirect Michigan jobs. 

“Ford is investing in both the future of the American auto industry and the state of Michigan by bringing together world-class products, advanced technology applications, and strong partnerships with the UAW to build the next generation of vehicles that will help end our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” Granholm said.  “In these challenging economic times, we applaud and appreciate Ford’s commitment to Michigan and to our talented workforce.”   

The Michigan assembly plant will be the first Ford facility in the world to produce a battery electric vehicle – the Ford Focus BEV – which is slated for 2011. The project announced today also will include investment in the adjacent Wayne Stamping Plant.

“Our investment in the Michigan assembly plant will create a manufacturing facility able to compete with the best in the industry to produce small cars competitively,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “As a key part of Ford’s transformation, it reflects not just an investment in our future, but also in the state of Michigan and in American manufacturing.”  

Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board approved a state tax credit valued at $123 million over 10 years to help win Ford’s investment over competing facilities in other states. The MEGA board also approved $6.4 million in state and local tax capture, a $30 million state brownfield tax credit,and an Anchor Zone designation for the project – a tax credit that is available for companies that attract or influence a supplier or customer to locate or expand in Michigan. The city of Wayne has also approved 12-year tax abatements valued at $15.3 million to support the project.

“We are utilizing every tool at our disposal to help our automakers compete in the 21st century,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “Michigan gave rise to the auto industry in the last century, and with innovative tools such as the first-in-the-nation advanced battery credits, we are determined to be the global leader going forward. With great Michigan companies like Ford leading the way, I’m confident this can be done.”

Ford is the world’s second largest producer of cars and trucks combined. Ford sells vehicles in more than 200 countries and territories around the world and has manufacturing facilities on six continents. In 2005, the company sold 6.8 million vehicles and employed 300,000 people worldwide.

“The city of Wayne and the Ford Motor Company have been partners for over 55 years,” said Wayne Mayor Al Haidous. “By granting a tax abatement, the Wayne city council said they wanted to remain partners with Ford and help them restore profitability to their company and stabilize the tax base of our community. We feel that helping the Ford Motor Company is in the best interest of the people of Wayne, the region, and the men and women of Local 900 of the United Auto Workers.”

Today’s news comes on the heels of last month’s historic advanced-battery partnership announcements includingthe Johnson Control-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) partnership with Ford on lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing, pack and system development, and integration capability. JCS plans to invest $220 million in a new advanced-battery manufacturing facility in Michigan to produce lithium-ion cells for automotive applications.

In total, four battery companies plan to invest over $1.7 billion in new battery manufacturing facilities in Michigan expected to create over 6,600 jobs – part of Michigan’s strategy to position itself as the advanced-battery capital of the world.  In January, Governor Granholm signed legislation establishing tax incentives of $335 million to help establish the advanced-battery industry in Michigan. To aid the momentum of the success of those incentives – the first in the nation – the governor signed legislation last month expanding those tax credits by $200 million.

The four companies making these new investments in Michigan are now in prime position to capture up to $2 billion in grants related to advanced-battery research, development and manufacturing available from the federal government.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.