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 Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 1:27 p.m.

Tecumseh Products will create technology center in new Pittsfield Township office building

By Paula Gardner

Tecumseh Products plans to develop a state-of-the-art technology center in the 50,000-square-foot building it purchased earlier this month, corporate officials said today.

CEO Jim Wainwright said the building - located near South State and Textile roads - will become the Tecumseh Technology Center, with employees moving into the center by about summer 2011.

"It's a very big deal for us," Wainwright said. "This is something we've been working on for over a year now."

The Pittsfield Township-based company - which manufactures refrigeration units and employs 7,300 worldwide - had considered multiple scenarios for this new lab, which replaces larger but dated lab space in Tecumseh.

Options considered including building a new lab in Mississippi, along with consolidating into labs in Brazil, India or Europe.

However, Wainwright said of the new local lab, "this seemed to be the right direction for us."

The decision to keep the facilities in southeastern Michigan means that the 30 or so employees in Tecumseh will have the opportunity to move to the new lab, Wainwright said.

"Keeping very valuable tech folks ... with us was a key part of the decision," he said.

New lab facilities will allow Tecumseh Products - now one of only a few independent compressor companies in the world - to enhance R&D functions and meet eco-friendly accreditation qualifications. Part of the new building will have enhanced environmental simulation facilities, according to a news release.


An aerial view of the building on Hines Drive that will become the Tecumseh Technology Center.

From Tecumseh Products

The move, Wainwright said, will allow the company to improve its platform to continue its movement into environmentally friendly refrigeration.

"Improving the technology level of our products is a key initiative for us," he said. "... This joins a chain of labs around the world that will allow our company to move forward."

The company also expects to attain LEED-certification from the building's build-out.

Tecumseh Products employs about 120 in Ann Arbor and about 1,000 in the U.S., Wainwright said.

About 80 percent of the company's business originates outside of the U.S., he added.



Wed, Dec 1, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

I respectfully disagree that Tecumseh's location makes it an unviable location for work. People will drive to jobs. I work in Dexter, Michigan and we have people that daily commute from Toledo, Tecumseh, Flint, etc. Back when the GM plant was in Tecumseh - same thing people used to drive from far away to work there. If the jobs are good, people will commute. Plus, I grew up in Tecumseh - it isn't that far away - a 40-45 minute drive to Ann Arbor or Toledo.

Basic Bob

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 : 8:07 a.m.

No one outside of Tecumseh wants to take a job there. If you are trying to recruit and retain technical expertise, this is the right location. Locating the tech center in Tecumseh would be a long-term failure.


Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 10:30 p.m.

The name "Wainwright", right out of the move "It's a Wonderful Life" with my favorite actor Jimmy Stewart. That Wainwright was selling plastics to the U.S. military, cutting edge at the time. This Wainright is selling Model T's in the year 2011 and treating their employees like Cycle 2 engine oil. They are peddling snake oil in the modern times, good grief! Good Day No Luck Needed


Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 8:28 p.m.

Ray W. Herrick (Founder) would be vomiting in his grave.


Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 7:45 p.m.

In the early 1980s there were 5,800 employees at the Tecumseh Michigan plant where they manufactured compressors for refrigeration. After a lengthy strike, Todd Herrick open a manufacturing plant in Brazil and the number of employees in Tecumseh Michigan plant dropped every year. There were about 800 employees in Tecumseh in 2001 and finally, the plant was shut down. Tecumseh is just too far away from everything. (Especially Metro airport.) Ken Herrick and his wife were the only family members that had roots in Tecumseh and unfortunately they both have passed away.


Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 6:53 p.m.

I just don't understand why Tecumseh Products is doing this in Ann Arbor instead of Tecumseh? There is more affordable space available in Tecumseh. A large number of their employees are in Tecumseh. Just seems like an unwarranted slap in the face to the City of Tecumseh for them to purchase in Ann Arbor.


Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 5:37 p.m.

Remember when Tecumseh had 1,000+ employees in Michigan?

Jim Nazium

Mon, Nov 29, 2010 : 5:32 p.m.

Umm, yeah. Tecumseh Michigan calling, ahh, why in the Heck aren't you in the New Business Park right here in TECUMSEH?????? All the tax breaks you've gotten over the years and you don't expand right here in the city you're named after? Insane.