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Posted on Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Tecumseh Products Company asks Pittsfield Township for tax abatements

By Ben Freed

Earlier this year, Tecumseh Products Company moved its headquarters across Pittsfield Township and into the same building that houses its global technology center.

The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees will decide at their meeting Wednesday whether to award the company an Industrial Facilities Tax exemption for the build out of the new offices. The company also is requesting to transfer the remainder of an older exemption from the old offices to the new location.


The Tecumseh Products technology center and corporate headquarters in Pittsfield Township.

Lizzy Alfs |

The company — founded 78 years ago in Tecumseh, Michigan — purchased the 50,000-square-foot building at 5683 Hines Dr. in 2010. The 35,000 square feet dedicated to the technology center began operating in May 2012.

“When we originally purchased the facility our intent was to make it our engineering and corporate headquarters,” said Randy Kopke, corporate property and facility manager.

“We had more than the space we needed for the technical center and at this point in time we have been able to build out the offices to have our other teams join the technicians.”

Tecumseh Products, which manufactures compressors for cooling units , operates manufacturing centers in France, India, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the United States. The company employs approximately 7,300 people worldwide.

“This is now our only location in Michigan, we do our U.S. manufacturing in other states,” Kopke said. “We have all 140 Michigan employees in Pittsfield Township.”

If the tax abatements are approved, the company will pay 50 percent of the taxes owed on $1,047,855 of real and personal property that is being moved into the new offices in 2013. The abatement would run 12 years, with the taxes incrementally increasing every year.

The abatement that would be transferred from the previous location applies to $584,603 in personal property. The abatement only has two years remaining and would be in effect until 2015.

Global marketing and communications manager Michael Smith told when Tecumseh moved its headquarters to the State Street Business Park the proximity of the corporate staff to the technical experts would help increase innovation at the company.

“We’re really excited about bringing our headquarters to the same building as the technology center,” he said at the time.

“Any time you have sales, marketing, and engineering staff working out of the same space there’s a lot of necessary collaboration that is much easier than it would be if you separated by geography. The ability to have impromptu meetings will make us much more effective.”

Tecumseh Products has had an up-and-down year in 2013. The company’s chairman resigned in January before the corporate headquarters moved to their current location in February. In May the company agreed to pay $7 million in a settlement regarding a price-fixing allegations that also involved Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp.

The company’s stock (NASDAQ: TECUA) started the year at $4.84 per share had has risen to $11.22 per share as of 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

On the other hand, we've employed thousands of Americans and Michiganians and Arboriginies over the past 78 years. We contributed to the war effort during WW2. We survived the competition from foreign companies since the 80's and the recent ecconomic downturn. We even survived a messy thuarted take over by Alex Partners where they cashed out everything they could get their slimey hands on and left us with just enough money to survive past the statute of limitations. That's how we got here. We are an American Company that manufactures in the US for the US market but we also manufacture abroad because that is where the rest of the market is.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

Private sector suckling at the teat of government. Take your ball and go home.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

No tax breaks! If Tecumseh cannot make money without them, the township will only lose when they fold or go somewhere else. If all the workers lived in the township and paid township taxes, the township might consider it, but what are the odds of that?

Basic Bob

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.

The odds are very good that the township will approve it. it's not an Islamic school. Forgetting the federal lawsuit? It's still active.

Rick Stevens

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

Google anyone? What a great deal Ann Arbor got in that deal!


Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Corporate welfare is a disgrace, with many times the township or city is stuck holding the bag.

Howard Beale

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

I'm sick of tax breaks for some and not others. I'm also sick of an overly complicated tax code. I am, however, all for a flat tax of say 15% or thereabouts for both personal and corporate income taxes, across the board. As for property tax breaks, I say there should be a federal law prohibiting such practices. I'm sick of corporations holding hammers over communities basically saying that if you do not cut us a break, we're moving to another city, another county, another state, or another country! Everyone needs to pay their fair share....both individuals and corporations. By the same token, the governments need to spend our tax dollars wisely and efficiently.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

Only the well off want a flat tax rate for all. It makes sense for them. I too believe that all should pay taxes, but according to their means. Most corporations use lots of water and sewer, use the roads harder than single families, but do not pay their fair share because of tax breaks and tons of deductions. If the Governor had taken away as many deductions from business as he did from single taxpayers, I might not have been as incensed by seeing my state taxes go up by $1600 or so this year.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

No to regressive flat taxes but thumbs up to pretty much everything else. Here is What I want you to do. I want you to go to the window, open it it, stick your head out and yell...


Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Corporate welfare for all!

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Let them pay their share like most everyone else.


Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

All kind of sad. A former Fortune 500 company from Michigan circling the drain.


Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.

Unless they intend to actually increase employment in Michigan, they should be told no. Bring manufacturing to Michigan as leverage for their request. Then, maybe it can be considered.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

I predict a unanimous vote.

Fresh Start

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 10:29 a.m.

Pollute, move and ask for tax relief!!! Priceless