Ford receives tax abatement to invest $9 million in Ypsilanti Township's Rawsonville plant
Ford Motor Co. will move ahead with plans to build battery packs for electric cars at its Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, adding $9 million in equipment and retaining 40 jobs.
The township’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 6-year, 100-percent tax abatement for the project on Tuesday night, said Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe.
“Everyone is excited about the $9 million investment,” she said.
According to a previous announcement from Ford, the project is part of Ford’s strategy to create 1,000 new jobs by 2012 and invest $450 million in Michigan to assemble, develop and build electric and plug-in electric cars and batteries.
Ypsilanti Township is benefiting from the Dearborn-based automaker’s plan to shift production of its Focus to a global model that will be built in Wayne’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
The $9 million investment will fund equipment purchases and retooling in the Rawsonville plant, located on 94 acres on the far east side of the township.
Components from four suppliers will be assembled into battery packs at Rawsonville, then shipped to the Wayne factory, according to information supplied to the township by Ford.
The facility work will begin in 2011 and be completed in 2012.
The battery pack assembly is scheduled to start by June 2012, said Lovejoy Roe.
The plant, which employs fewer than 1,000, is expected to retain the 40 positions through the new endeavor, Lovejoy Roe added.
“It says a lot about the employees who work there and the quality work they’re doing,” she said.
According to data provided by Washtenaw County, manufacturing jobs in the county fell by 14,000 since 2001. The General Motors Corp. Powertrain plant, also located in the township, will close this year.
The investment by Ford to retain the jobs and adapt its traditional manufacturing facility to needs that fulfill new automotive technology is also important to the township.
“Traditionally, this kind of investment is a sign that there is a commitment from the company that a facility is going to stay in operation,” Lovejoy Roe said.
Ford’s Rawsonville plant is assessed at $11.3 million. In 2009, it paid $770,889 in property taxes and $2.3 million in personal property taxes.