Three major project economic development announcements are in the spotlight in Michigan today, including large investments by Ford and FCA US in the state’s automotive sector.
First up, Ford announced that it is investing $1.6 billion to upgrade two of its manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Ohio.
The $1.4 billion investment in Livonia Transmission Plant and $200 million investment in Ohio Assembly Plant are part of Ford’s $9 billion commitment made in their recent UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement to continue investing in Ford’s U.S. plants.
Ford’s latest investment creates or retains 500 hourly jobs in Michigan at Livonia Transmission Plant to build a new 10-speed transmission. The Livonia Transmission Plant employs more than 1,550 people. The investment and 150 hourly jobs at Ohio Assembly Plant, located in Avon Lake, will be used to build Super Duty chassis cab. The Ohio Assembly Plant employs more than 1,650 people.
Ford has committed to 2,800 U.S. jobs in the past five months, and has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created a total of nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs in the past five years.
The second major announcement was by FCA US, which announced today that it will invest $74.7 million in its Trenton Engine Complex in Michigan to retool the north plant to produce the next generation four-cylinder engine, retaining 245 jobs. The engine will provide increased power, while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.
Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America, said in a statement that “This investment in our flexible production line at Trenton North will allow us to quickly ramp up North American production of this new fuel-efficient engine.”
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. Since 2009, FCA US has announced investments of more than $2 billion in Michigan and added nearly 15,600 new jobs, bringing total employment in the state to 35,314 people.
The third jobs announcement for the day in Michigan comes courtesy of Ann Arbor economic development group SPARK, which announced an expansion by Duo Security, Inc. This project is expected to generate nearly $2.5 million in total investment and support the creation of up to 300 direct Michigan jobs over the next three years.
Duo Security first established its Ann Arbor technology facility in 2009. Citing the technology environment, attractive business climate, and highly qualified talent pool, the company chose to invest in its Ann Arbor headquarter operations over competing sites.
The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $2.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The MSF board approves grants and loans administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which promotes economic development opportunities including retaining and attracting business to the state.
Ann Arbor SPARK provided direct support to Duo in working with the state on its application for incentives. Going forward, SPARK will assist with talent recruitment and attraction.
MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said in a statement that “Duo’s expansion in Michigan rather than Silicon Valley means excellent, well-paying jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the talent in the state’s technology sector.”