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Posted on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Ford to insource work from Mexico and China to Rawsonville Plant, retain 750 jobs

By Tom Perkins

About 750 Ford Rawsonville Plant employees will retain their jobs as production previously handled by Mexican and Chinese auto suppliers is insourced to Ypsilanti Township.

Next year, the plant at 10300 Textile Road will begin producing parts for Ford’s hybrid and electric cars, which will be fully made at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

The insourcing and Ford’s $20 million investment in the plant was made possible in part through a $635,000 brownfield tax credit.

The Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board stamped the proposal on Monday and the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved it on Tuesday. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners also approved the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday evening.

The Brownfield Redevelopment Act is in place to provide economic incentives for redevelopment of contaminated, functionally obsolete and blighted property.

Jeff Donofrio, a local government relations employee for the Dearborn-based automaker, said the brownfield credits are part of a package of incentives allowing Ford to bring in new investment and insource battery pack assembly for hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles.

"The investment we've announced recently is about $53 million," he said. "This is something that is possible because of our partnership with the UAW, the competitive agreement we were able to reach with them, and I want to make sure we recognize their contribution to this."

Donofrio said the Rawsonville plant will be a key part of Ford's electrification strategy in Southeast Michigan. He said Ford has made a commitment to making Southeast Michigan a hub for the electrification of its vehicles.

County commissioners said Wednesday night they're excited about the project, calling it great news for job creation and for the environment.

"That's an awesome project. I'm really excited about that," said Commissioner Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor. "We're insourcing jobs. We're bringing jobs in from Mexico and from China to do work here. Not only is it just doing work, it's doing work in the field of high-tech electrical vehicles — building components for electrical vehicles."

Starters and coils are currently produced at Rawsonville, but part of the facility is underutilized. The plant was slated to close at one point, but will produce the 6R140 transmission oil pumps now made in China, battery packs now made in Mexico and transmission kitting for preproduction.

The components will be used in the hybrid C-Max and the C-Max Energi, which is a plug in hybrid.

Marcey Evans, Ford communication manager, said the automaker has insourced about 2,200 jobs over the last several years, and insourcing work previously performed by suppliers outside the company and sometimes outside of the country has become a trend.

“We are committing to insourcing where we can because it’s good for the company, customers, employees and it allows us to grow our employee base here,” Evans said.

She said plants are selected for insourcing for a variety of reasons including proximity to other plants, nature of the work performed in the plant, capacity and transportation infrastructure. The Rawsonville plant was at an advantage because Michigan Assembly was recently retooled to produce Ford’s hybrid lines.

“Rawsonville was a prime location for this particular work,” she said.

Ypsilanti Township board members fully supported approving the tax credit.

“We want to partner with Ford because this is to vital to the growth of Ypsilanti Township,” said Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo. government and politics reporter Ryan J. Stanton contributed to this report. Tom Perkins is a freelance journalist for



Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Way to go Ford. Love to see our jobs come back to Americans where they belong. Congratulations and best wishes in the coming years.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Yeah, Ford starts to realize that the longer your supply lines, the more cost and complications involved in transportation. I'm happy to have been employed transporting car parts from Mexico to U.S. factories for a long time, but in the end, it's better to have the parts made in the U.S.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Think Ford First!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Good news. But, was it not Ford that caused the site to be a brownfield?


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

I wonder if this means a will be calling back some of the displaced workers from the other local Ford plants?


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : noon

Or hiring new workers.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

Yay Ford! Now get busy making an awesome minivan so I can buy one of your products. Don't just roll over and give up the market to Toyota and Honda.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

This is great that Fords is not reducing the number of employees at the plant but I did not see anything about hiring NEW EMPLOYEES? I guess Hope & Change was just some "Slick Marketing"!


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 10:19 p.m.

It's great that American manufacturers are bringing jobs TO Michigan FROM China. Kind of like the Michigan Ladder announcement a few months back. Now, let's hope that Walmart and the other retailers start selling stuff that was made in America instead of just selling stuff made in China.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

Way to go Ford!!! All the jobs we can get here we need.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Now let's work on getting Delta Airlines to insource their major airplane maintainence from China to Willow Run. It would be a huge economic boost to the region. American Airlines does their maintainence in Oklahoma, which has been a huge boost to their economy. We spent a lot of taxpayers money to build facilities at DTW for Delta. Now its their turn to return the favor and insource their maintainace.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

I'm so glad my last two vehicles were made by Ford Motor. Thanks Ford !


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Congratulations to Ford for finally beginning to insource manufacturing work, particularly from China. Let's see the other auto companies to more of the same. Let's reward Ford by buying American. You can read more about how our technology is being stolen and given away to China at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>