LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that Scout Motors, a Volkswagen-backed, independent American auto manufacturer headquartered in Virginia, is establishing a new research and development facility in the city of Novi with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Scout Motors’ new R&D facility to Michigan, creating 200 good-paying engineering jobs right here in Michigan. Winning this investment proves that Michigan offers the best opportunity for automotive companies – from R&D to manufacturing,” said Governor Whitmer. “I was honored to represent Team Michigan on my international trade mission at the beginning of the year, helping close this deal and secure this cutting-edge facility in Michigan as we round out 2023. As I’ve said throughout the year, I am committed to going anywhere and working with anyone to deliver for Michiganders here at home. Let’s continue building on this progress into 2024 and keep working together so every family, community, and business can ‘make it’ in Michigan.”
Governor Whitmer met with executives from the company while traveling home from her international trade mission in January, making the case that with its attractive business climate, robust talent pool, and undisputed leadership in future mobility and vehicle electrification, Michigan was the smart location for a growing automotive company to establish its R&D operations and create engineering jobs. Today’s announcement rounds out that landmark investment mission with a landmark R&D investment in the state.
Scout Motors will make a capital investment of $11 million and create 200 high-paying jobs in Michigan that support the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. The project will bring immediate, high-wage engineering, design, and development jobs to southeast Michigan with an innovative, growing auto manufacturer, and further builds on Michigan’s strength in mobility and automotive R&D.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Scout Motors to Michigan as we continue to secure our position as the leader in future mobility and electrification. This project represents the kind of R&D investment we continue to put Michigan in a position to win through a Make It in Michigan strategy,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, legislators from both parties, and local officials in Novi, Oakland County and the Detroit region for their continued support for our programs that help make announcements like today’s possible.”
Scout Motors Inc., is an independent U.S. auto manufacturer backed by Volkswagen Group. The company was formed in 2022 to design and manufacture all-electric trucks and rugged SUVs in the same tradition that made the original Scout an American icon. Originally produced by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980, the Scout was the world’s first utility vehicle capable of both off-road adventure and family duty. The company plans to revitalize the brand and is expected to begin vehicle production at the end of 2026.
The company’s new research and development facility in the city of Novi will serve as a hub for future innovation and development for the auto industry within the U.S. The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a $10 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over competing sites in part because of the strength of automotive engineering talent in the state.
“Our new vehicles will honor Scout’s hard-working heritage while injecting fresh American ingenuity to create a new era of iconic all-purpose vehicles,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Scout Motors. “As we design and engineer our vehicles, Michigan is the perfect place to establish our Innovation Center due to its deep automotive roots, continued investment in innovation and ability to attract and train a talented, diverse workforce.”
Oakland County is providing a $150,000 grant in support of the project. Learn more about careers with Scout Motors.
“In Oakland County, we are actively invested in the success of advanced manufacturing and the mobility industry of the future. We are excited to collaborate with the state and Detroit Regional Partnership to help attract Scout Motors and its new research and development facility to Novi,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “We welcome this project and look forward to working with Scout to introduce the company to the skilled and talented workers who call Oakland County home.”
Scout’s decision to build its future in the state that put the world on wheels more than a century ago comes as no surprise: Michigan was recently ranked the top state in the country for Electric Vehicle (EV) Industry Investment as well as Automotive Manufacturing by Business Facilities’ 19th Annual Rankings Report. Citing 2022 as “a pivotal point for the growth of EV adoption,” the publication’s new EV Industry Investment ranking evaluated existing and expected capital investment and job creation, positioning Michigan in the top spot nationally.
Michigan is poised to lead the EV revolution with unique resources and concierge partnerships including the state’s innovative Electric Vehicle and Mobility Talent Action Team, which focuses on supporting the talent transition in the EV and mobility sectors. The team’s goal is to train thousands of workers in the first year by delivering professional development programs that engage workers in improving their skills and competencies in line with in-demand roles. To date, the team has already made significant progress in fostering collaboration among private industry partners, universities and the state.
To date, the TAT has already made significant progress in fostering collaboration among private industry partners, universities and the state. In its first program year, MEDC supported more than 1,200 Michigan residents starting or upskilling into new roles in EV and Battery production, and that number continues to grow. More than 400 electrical engineering and software engineering students are participating in The Michigander Scholars at partner institutions, with 34 receiving scholarships for full-time employment and internships at companies in Michigan. The TAT has deployed nearly $6 million to higher education institutions to partner directly with PK-12 schools across the state on industry awareness and skill building that has already reached thousands of students.
In addition to supporting today’s talent in accessing available high-tech career opportunities in electrification and mobility, Michigan is also keeping an eye toward the industry’s future and building a talent pool to fill the jobs of the future. One example of the state’s efforts include the Michigander Scholars program, approved as a pilot program by the Michigan Strategic Fund in February, which was created to work in partnership with University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Michigan Technological University to retain top talent in the electric vehicle and mobility industry in the state. Since then, the program has brought in more than 400 college engineering students to consider careers in EV and mobility.
The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved several expansions to the program, all aimed at building the talent base needed to ensure companies like Scout Motors can continue to make it in Michigan.
Quotes in support of the Scout Motors project:
“Southeast Michigan is leading the future of the auto industry, and we must continue to work to keep our state at the forefront of innovation, especially in the research and development of next-generation clean energy technologies,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-06). “This investment in Novi by Scout Motors and the Michigan Strategic Fund will do just that, creating 200 good-paying jobs for Michiganders and further strengthening our region’s position as a national and global mobility leader.”
“I’m beyond excited that Scout Motor’s new research and development facility will be built in Novi, bringing 200 good-paying jobs to the communities I’m proud to represent in Congress. Michigan won this contract because we have the workforce and investment strategy to help companies bring their innovative auto products to the market,” said U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11). “I especially want to thank Governor Whitmer, Oakland County, and the Michigan Strategic Fund for their leadership in making this happen. I can’t wait to see the new facility in action — this just shows that when all levels of government collaborate, we can deliver for the American people.”
“I am very excited to have Scout Motors, an innovative automotive manufacturer, come to Novi, the perfect place for the talent they need and for the business to grow,” said state Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-Keego Harbor). “The new R&D facility is bringing 200 good-paying jobs to our community and further proving that Michigan is a leader in mobility and electrification.
“This investment is the result of Michigan leading the way in the transition to electric vehicles, and Novi is a premier destination for the future mobility sector,” said state Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi). “Michigan is open for business, and this announcement is further proof. Thank you to Governor Whitmer and Scout Motors for bringing these new, high-paying jobs to Novi.”
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 www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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