Global autonomous vehicle maker NAVYA to establish first North American facility in Saline with support from Michigan Strategic Fund

Monday, July 17, 2017

Expansion underscores Michigan’s leadership in autonomous and connected vehicle technology

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan continues to demonstrate its leadership in the mobility and autonomous vehicles sector as NAVYA, Inc., a global leader in developing and manufacturing autonomous vehicles, announced plans to establish its first assembly plant in North America with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. To be located in Saline, the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $1 million and create 50 jobs.

“We applaud NAVYA’s commitment to Michigan and look forward to working with the company as it continues to develop advanced mobility vehicles and technologies,” said Trevor Pawl, Michigan Economic Development Corporation vice president, PlanetM, the state’s new economic development initiative to facilitate mobility companies’ entry and expansion in Michigan. 

NAVYA, established in France in 2014, specializes in the development of driverless, automated electric vehicles that are independent of all infrastructure. In October 2015, NAVYA launched the NAVYA ARMA, a 100 percent autonomous, driverless and electric shuttle that can transport up to 15 people. In December of 2016, NAVYA partnered with the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center’s Mcity to launch the first NAVYA ARMA in North America. The vehicle is operating on both private sites and public roads around the world.

The company plans to establish a new operation in the city of Saline, investing more than $1 million and create 50 jobs, resulting in a $435,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Illinois. 

“We at NAVYA could not be more pleased to call Saline, Michigan home to our first assembly plant in North America. As the greater Ann Arbor area continues to establish itself as a hub for autonomous vehicle development, we feel it’s the perfect location for us. Strong government and community support for mobility initiatives combined with an excellent talent pool provide the ideal environment for our expansion in North America,” said NAVYA CEO Christophe Sapet. 

“The City of Saline is ecstatic to welcome NAVYA Inc. to our community, and I have no doubt that they will become an important and valued member of our already stellar business community,” said city of Saline Mayor Brian Marl. “NAVYA is an innovative company, working on the latest autonomous vehicle technology; I believe that their future is bright, and the City of Saline looks forward to assisting and supporting them in every reasonable way.”

Ann Arbor SPARK provided support to NAVYA throughout the incentives process, including coordinating with MEDC and Pittsfield Township and assisting the company with updates to the site it chose. Going forward, Ann Arbor SPARK will provide talent support. 

“NAVYA’s growth in the Ann Arbor region is fueled by our region's commitment to innovation in mobility technology, and the talented people who think and work on these issues every day throughout our region,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “We’re excited to add depth to our technical prowess in this region, and to be part of NAVYA tapping in to the manufacturing and engineering capabilities here as it moves forward in making some of the world’s first autonomous mass transit vehicles. NAVYA is a terrific contribution to our prominence in the connected and autonomous vehicle industry.”

NAVYA plans to build approximately 25 of its ARMA fully autonomous shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017. NAVYA’s breakthrough ARMA shuttle has become a global leader in first and last mile transportation solutions with a fleet of 35 vehicles deployed in 10 countries around the world. With the addition of its new plant in Saline the company will be able to boost production significantly to serve the growing North American market. 

Individuals interested in careers with NAVYA should send resumes to [email protected].

To view a video on NAVYA, visit here:

Michigan continues to demonstrate its leadership position in the mobility and autonomous vehicles sector as NAVYA, Inc., a global leader in developing and manufacturing autonomous vehicles, announced plans to establish its first U.S. operations in Saline with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Michigan has always been the leader of the automotive industry, and as vehicle and transportation technologies continue to evolve, Michigan continues to lead the way. This leadership is represented through the state’s PlanetM initiative, a partnership of mobility organizations and communities working together on the research, development and deployment of mobility technologies driving the future. 

Through PlanetM, Michigan is now one of the most progressive states in the country for testing self-driving vehicles and leads the nation in patents for navigation and smart mobility. This continues to draw entrepreneurs and advanced technology companies alike, who are not only attracted to the state’s vast automotive assets, but also Michigan’s robust workforce of skilled and engineering talent.

For more information on PlanetM, visit

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.