ICYMI: Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s Bipartisan Leadership, $4 Billion in Investments and Thousands of Jobs Are Coming to Michigan

“The investments by Gotion and ONE are undeniable wins for Michigan in the spaces where the bellwether auto industry is headed, not where it’s been.” – The Detroit News

Governor Whitmer’s willingness to work with anyone to keep Michigan’s economy and workforce first has once again attracted massive, job-creating investments to the state. According to recent reporting from Detroit News, Michigan emerged victorious in the “state-vs-state battery wars” with newly-secured billion-dollar investments from battery startup Our Next Energy Inc. and Gotion Inc.

Further solidifying Michigan’s as an auto industry leader not only in the past but as it evolves into the future of electric vehicles, this duo of “undeniable wins” totals “nearly $4 billion” and creates “close to 4,500 jobs” across Wayne County and Big Rapids with average hourly wages ranging from $30 to $35.

Critical to strengthening the state’s economic foundation,” Michigan was able to secure these investments thanks to Governor Whitmer working with the Republican-controlled legislature to create the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund which provided multimillion-dollar development grants to both companies. 

This is just the latest proof point of Governor Whitmer’s leadership which has been mission critical to reasserting Michigan’s dominance in the auto industry and exponentially increasing the number of good-paying jobs stateside.

Over her first term she has secured 25,000 auto jobs. This includes landing a $7 billion investment from GM the largest in the company’s history, creating and retaining 5,000 jobs, while generating thousands more in the community and producing $28.8 billion in new personal income for Michigan families. Building on her 2019 success of Stellantis bringing $4.5 billion and 6,500 jobs to Detroit, Whitmer secured another investment of nearly $2 billion to expand electric vehicle battery production in Holland, supporting over a thousand good-paying jobs, and she recently brought in a $2 billion investment from Ford that will support 3,200 good-paying, union jobs in Michigan.

See excerpts below from Detroit News on the “only-in-Michigan” success stories that puts our economy in the driver’s seat for “the future of mobility” and read the full report here.

Detroit News: Battery Wars: Michigan Snags $4B Investment, 4,500 New Jobs
By Daniel Bowes

Michigan is battling back in the state-vs-state battery wars, landing two investments totaling nearly $4 billion and creating close to 4,500 jobs in two parts of the state.

Our Next Energy Inc., a two-year-old battery startup based in Novi with just 160 employees, confirmed Wednesday that it will invest $1.6 billion to create a battery-cell manufacturing plant in western Wayne County’s Van Buren Township. With a $200 million grant from the state’s Critical Industry Fund, the project code-named “Project First” is expected within six years to employ 2,112 new jobs paying an average of $35 an hour.

The investment follows parallel confirmation that Gotion Inc., a Chinese-owned battery maker, plans to invest $2.3 billion to build a battery components plant in Big Rapids that would create 2,350 new jobs with an average hourly wage of nearly $30 an hour. Internally dubbed “Project Elephant,” the Gotion project is expected to receive a $125 million grant from the state’s critical industry fund and $50 million from the Strategic Site Readiness program. […]

…The industry’s pivot to electrification is occurring with breathtaking speed — and the century-old epicenter of the North American auto industry is not guaranteed to win the preponderance of new jobs-creating investment in next-generation technology. The state must compete and win on its own instead of betting on history and entitlement.

The investments by Gotion and ONE are undeniable wins for Michigan in the spaces where the bellwether auto industry is headed, not where it’s been. Claiming new jobs and investment in EV-related batteries, motors and final assembly are critical to strengthening the state’s economic foundation and doing it now, before this wave of betting subsides into a period of consolidation. […]

Since Blue Oval’s metaphoric whack to the back of Michigan’s collective head, state lawmakers bankrolled the billion-dollar Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, created the Critical Industry and Strategic Site Readiness programs, reauthorized appropriations to the umbrella SOAR fund, and leveraged the fund balance to speed investments by Ford, General Motors Co. and Hemlock Semiconductor in Michigan. […]

The bottom line: Michigan appears to be back on the field following the Ford rebuke, political recrimination and mounting evidence in the actions of hometown automakers suggesting Michigan is not competitive in the race for battery investment. Decisions by Gotion and Our Next Energy signal otherwise.

Our Next Energy, or ONE, considered sites in 12 states for its first manufacturing plant. But it chose to stay home, Founder and CEO Mujeeb Ijaz told The News, because of a southeast Michigan workforce experienced with battery assembly, an established raw materials supply chain and carbon-neutral sources of industrial electricity.

“Our view is that the U.S. doesn’t have a substantial, independent battery activity,” he said. “And we’re trying to lift that off the ground by building a team, building the assets in both financial terms as well as facilities, sourcing equipment, building a workforce, becoming a manufacturer and then growing that business. And we want to be here for the long haul.” […]

“ONE is an ‘only-in-Michigan’ story that exemplifies the opportunity Western industrial centers have to create the technology that will drive the future of mobility,” said Chris Thomas, a co-founder and partner of Assembly Ventures, in a recent news release issued by the company. […]

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