Lt. Governor Cherry Hails GM Advanced Battery Facility Location in Brownstown Twp.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

State’s comprehensive diversification strategy key in landing nation’s firsthigh-volume U.S. automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site

LANSING– Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. todayjoined General Motors (GM) President and CEO Fritz Henderson and company and state and local leaders in Brownstown Twp. to celebrate GM’s selection of a Michigan location for the nation’s first high-volume U.S. automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. The company will invest $43 million to produce lithium-ion battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt and other extended-range electric vehicles.

Today’s news follows theannouncement last week by Vice President Joe Biden that 12 Michigan projects, including three by GM, were awarded more than $1.35 billion in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support advanced-battery and electric-vehicle manufacturing and development.

Cherry, who led the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Economic Development, noted that the DOE grants also includedAdvanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education programs at four Michigan universities. Those include GM partnerships with Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan as well as programs at Wayne State University and Kettering University.   

“Thanks to a bold vision and an aggressive, comprehensive strategy, Michigan is now the epicenter of the U.S. advanced-battery industry,” Cherry said. “We thank General Motors for its continued commitment to our state, and we are proud of this new partnership to grow a new industry with manufacturers, suppliers, advanced technical education, and the entire value chain located right here in Michigan, creating new economic activity and new jobs.”

Michiganpursued opportunities for an advanced-battery industry well before any other state and developed an innovative strategy to bring to Michigan the jobs and economic development created by advanced-battery research, development, and manufacturing. The state’s first-in-the-nation advanced-battery credits signed by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm at the beginning of the year and other support helped win GM’s investment over competing North American sites.

In February,based on Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recommendations, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) approved $115 million in battery-pack credits and $45 million in vehicle-engineering credits, both over three years, to GM. In addition, MEGA approved a state tax credit valued at $6.8 million over 20 years to support the Brownstown Twp. project and the more than 100 high-tech jobs that will be provided by the facility.

State support was instrumental in helping GM secure more than $286.4 million in DOE advanced-battery grants. It also helped GM’s Volt battery manufacturer, LG Chem, through its U.S. subsidiary Compact Power, establish domestic production in Michigan and compete for DOE funding. The company was awarded a battery-cell state tax credit valued at $100 million over four years and a $151.4 million grant from the DOE.    

“Michigan, starting in 2006, was first to chart a course to lead in advanced-battery development, and we have not looked back,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “We engaged industry experts every step of the way and secured unprecedented bipartisan support for some of the most generous and innovative economic development tools in the nation. I commend Governor Granholm, Lt. Governor Cherry, and the Michigan Legislature for enabling Michigan to be a global leader in this industry.”


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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