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Magna Electronics in Flint, Michigan

As a Sign of Further Investment in Green Technology, Magna Electronics Announces Plans to Manufacture Electric Motors in Flint Region
December 17, 2009

Investments by major companies in technology aimed at improving the fuel-efficiency of vehicles or the use of alternative fuels continue to be brought to the Great Lakes Region as the manufacturing infrastructure addresses the needs of a greening economy. Along with the rapidly expanding battery research, development, and manufacturing investments that have occurred recently, electric motor manufacturing is a major component of the new automotive technologies and capitalizes on the engine and transmission expertise of the region.

The article below is from the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce's News Release.

Strong Partnerships Make Magna Electronics Project a Reality

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP—Gov. Jennifer Granholm and local economic development and business leaders showed their support today for a Magna Electronics project that is expected to bring 525 jobs and an estimated $70 million in new investment to Genesee County and Grand Blanc Township.

The governor, along with community leaders and Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce officials, gathered at the company’s Grand Blanc Township facility to celebrate the good news about the project, which will include the manufacture of electric motors for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Earlier this week, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Board (MEGA) approved a $5 million, 7-year tax credit for the company, an operating unit of Magna International Inc.

Magna Electronics plans to begin manufacturing the electric motors in early 2011. Plans for the project also include expansion of the company’s existing facility to build the electric propulsion system for the 2012-2017 Ford Focus battery electric vehicle.

The project represents an exciting transformation of the local economy and the automotive industry, said Gov. Granholm during Thursday’s press conference.

“It’s a great story for this community—a community that has been disproportionally battered by the challenges that the auto industry has been experiencing,” Gov. Granholm said. “It also is a great story for regional collaboration. The new model for economic development really is a model of partnership. You can’t do it individually—a single business, a single city, a single county. You have to be forging alliances top to bottom to make a good business case for the businesses that are going to be hiring our citizens.”

Tim Herman, CEO of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and MEGA Board member, said that the partnership forged among Magna officials, local and state leaders, and Regional Chamber staff was critical in moving the project forward.

“Our Economic Development staff at the Regional Chamber played a key role in bringing all these partners and resources together,” he said. “The governor, our partners at Magna, the MEGA Board, Grand Blanc Township officials, Michigan Works! Career Alliance, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and our Economic Development team at the Regional Chamber worked together for many months to make this project a reality.”

The project will be a real boost to the local economy, and will bring needed jobs and economic growth to the community, he said.

“We are excited to have this kind of innovation and high-tech manufacturing happening right here in Genesee County,” Tim Herman said. “On behalf of all our local business leaders in this community, I want to thank Magna Electronics for selecting Genesee County and Grand Blanc Township for this important project.”

Frank W. Ervin III, manager of government affairs for Magna International, said the company considered three other states and several other sites for the project.

“But the help we received from Grand Blanc Township and from the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce convinced us to locate this project in Genesee County,” he said. “The help we received was the deciding factor.”

Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Micki Hoffman said the Regional Chamber “has done such a good job of bringing businesses to the region” and in reaching out to the township to move the project forward.

Magna Electronics has brought a very exciting project to Grand Blanc Township, Ms. Hoffman said.

“We plan to do everything we can to support this project and others to help bring more jobs, economic growth, and diverse industries to the region,” she said. “We couldn’t have asked for a more visionary company or global industry to come to our area.”

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