Ford Motor Company is currently considering an investment between $300 and $500 million into Michigan assembly plants as the company expands its development and production of hybrids and EVs. The company's decision to invest more money into the state of Michigan depends upon the state granting various tax breaks and giving additional funds to the company.
Ford hopes that an expanding demand for its hybrid vehicles as well as the launch of upcoming EVs will drive the need for additional production capacity of advanced technology vehicles. The company anticipates increased demand and the need to produce batteries in house to meet demand.
Ford plans to assemble its lithium-ion batteries packs in house at an undisclosed existing plant in Michigan. Portions of the proposed funds will go towards preparing a facility in Michigan for production of li-ion battery packs. Currently, battery packs for many of Ford's hybrid products are assembled in Hermosillo, Mexico. The proposed facility in Michigan could shift battery production from Mexico to the states.
According to Ford, if the state of Michigan meets certain requirements and Ford chooses to invest here, the proposed spending plan will creat 1,000 new jobs.. As mentioned earlier, Ford's proposed spending within the state hinges on the state providing credits to the company. In return for bringing additional manufacturing to the state of Michigan, Ford wants an $85 million advanced battery pack credit from 2012 to 2014 with the potential for an additional $35 million after 2014 if suppliers within the state provide batteries to Ford.
New investments in this poor economy always come with a catch. Ford wants Michigan to expand its advanced battery credits which were approved last year. The company hopes that the credits can be expanded to include hybrid vehicle production and battery pack assembly within the state borders. If the credits are expanded and include the funds listed above, Ford will invest $300 to $500 million.
Ford appears to be asking for a lot, but the poor economic situation in the state of Michigan could persuade state lawmakers to approve the credits and funds to bring in more manufacturing and jobs.
Source: Automotive News (Login required)