Tuesday, December 24, 2019

$776 million upgrade set at Michigan Assembly plant

Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne
The Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne will see $766.5 million in renovations and retooling for the production of the resurrected Ford Bronco sport utility vehicle, according to a formal announcement from the Michigan Strategic Fund which awarded Ford Motor Co. $35.3 million in new tax incentives last week.
The automaker plans a combined $1.5 billion in capital investment at the Wayne and Dearborn assembly plants.
Ford employs 2,745 workers at Michigan Assembly and 6,203 at the Dearborn Truck Plant.

Ford also received 15 years of exemptions on the State Essential Services Assessment for up to $408.5 million of qualified personal property at the Michigan Assembly Plant and the Dearborn Truck Plant - the two plants the automaker plans to renovate and retool for new vehicle products, according to a memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
To qualify for the incentives, Ford will have to create 2,700 jobs that pay at least $61,047 annually at Michigan Assembly and 300 jobs at the Dearborn plant, where workers assemble F-150 pickups.
Currently, Michigan Assembly workers build the new Ranger midsize pickup, with metal-stamped and injection-molded parts. Ford is also planning to establish a Ranger/Bronco modification center at Michigan Assembly in 2020 to add extra features to the trucks and SUVs, according to industry reports.
“In addition, the company is considering the City of Wayne as the location of an Autonomous Vehicle (“AV”) production center,” Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) officials wrote in a memo to the Michigan Strategic Fund board members. “This facility will take new commercial grade hybrid models and incorporate the self-driving technology needed to turn them into autonomous vehicles.”
The autonomous vehicle production center would be a first-of-its-kind facility for Ford and work in conjunction with driverless vehicle research and development at its headquarters in Dearborn and its developing mobility campus in Corktown, according to the MEDC.
Ford is in the midst of a multi-year $740 million project to build an autonomous and electric vehicle development campus in Corktown that would be anchored by the 106-year-old Michigan Central Station.
The potential autonomous vehicle facility in Wayne is not directly tied to the new tax incentives and the Corktown campus, but MEDC officials sought to link them together.
Ford has agreed to give up $12 million in previously approved incentives for expansions at its Romeo Engine and Flat Rock Assembly plants that did not happen as planned.