You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, May 20, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Ford receives tax abatement to invest $9 million in Ypsilanti Township's Rawsonville plant

By Paula Gardner

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.

Paula Gardner is Business News Director of Contact her at 734-623-2586 or by email. Sign up for the weekly Business Review newsletter, distributed every Thursday, here.



Thu, May 20, 2010 : 10:53 p.m.

"The plant, which employs fewer than 1,000, is expected to retain the 40 positions through the new endeavor, Lovejoy Roe added." If I'm reading this right, and please correct me if I'm wrong, zero, zip, nada, none, no jobs will be created via this new product being placed at Rawsonville. In fact it reads that employment numbers could actually go down further at Rawsonville, but 40 whole jobs will be retained. Also.... How many Lovejoy-Roe family members work (now, in the past or currently laid off with return to basic unit rights) at Rawsonville. Did Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe get to vote on this abatement? Did she abstain?


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 7:45 p.m.

No matter what the Negative Nancys say I for one am very happy about this since my husband works at this plant. Rawsonville almost ended up like the Ypsi plant, and thank goodness it didn't, but many jobs were lost in the plant so it's good to see new jobs come in.

The Truth

Thu, May 20, 2010 : 7:04 p.m.

Just great, Ypsi twp giving tax abatements, buying more park land for almost $60000 but yet they cut police and fire staffing!


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

Great news! I'm traditionally not in favor of us helping the fat cats but this is a very different time and situation. Not to go into the politics of "fair trade" but there's no such thing anymore. I have lived here for 65 years and not many people here are employed by poor people, you know? Generally speaking "fat cats" hire people. If handing out my tax money brings jobs and business to my community I'm not complaining. How many old factories have been renovated and kept neat and tidy in Michigan? It's so depressing to see the hulk of these old factories and remember how it used to be.... So yes, I think it's wonderful that our tax dollars are going to improve the local community. This move is "business friendly" and it's "community friendly".

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, May 20, 2010 : 12:14 p.m.

so you'd rather see the work go to another community? local busnesses will see increased business. sure it's not ideal to give them a tax break, but it is a business. you think they'll come to ypsilanti township if they have to pay taxes there and not somewhere else? they're in business to make $$, the almight dollar is king. i'm glad to see they could be putting MY ypsilanti township neighbors to work!


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 11:51 a.m.

Too many businesses get away with not having to pay taxes in America. Often, the "new" jobs promised for tax exemptions don't pan out as promised (as was recently reported regarding Google). Citizens typically lose in deals such as these.


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 11:34 a.m.

@ dading: Too bad, you're getting them anyway. I'm tired of corporations reaping rewards off the backs of the taxpayers and workers. Many of the reasons for companies not doing well is because of what companies themselves do, yet workers and, in particular, unions are seen as villians. I'm glad jobs are staying here, but will not lick the boots of the fat cats. And yes, I've been affected by the bad economy, but not the the point of genuflecting to billionaires.


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

Truly excellent news.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, May 20, 2010 : 11 a.m.

@ignatz, your sarcastic remarks are unwanted here. can i assume that you have not been affected by this tanked economy? this is excellant news!


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 9:04 a.m.

I'm glad that $9 mil was enough of a bribe to keep an American automobile company's production in America. I'm sure it will add to their profits.


Thu, May 20, 2010 : 7:40 a.m.

Excellent news. Thank you Ford Motor Company for keepint the jobs in Michigan and not sending the work to the south or Mexico.