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Two Japanese Companies To Expand, Add 85 Jobs In Michigan

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LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp, Tuesday announced that two Japanese companies, Panasonic Automotive Systems and Teijin Advanced Composites, were approved for incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund through the new Michigan Business Development Program to support their expansions in Michigan.

Today’s projects were announced as Gov. Rick Snyder and a delegation of state and local officials and economic developers arrived in Stuttgart, Germany during an eight-day investment mission to Italy and Germany, where they are meeting with leading business executives to strengthen relationships and attract new job-creating investments.

“These two world-class companies, Panasonic and Teijin, are recognized for their leadership and their decisions to invest here tells the world that Michigan is a great place to grow a business,” Snyder said. “These investments demonstrate Michigan’s singular leadership as a center of engineering, research, design and technical innovation with a business climate that enables their success.”

Panasonic Automotive Systems Co. of America has been awarded a $500,000 Business Development Program incentive to expand its Southeast Michigan operations. Panasonic proposes to invest up to $8.16 million to establish a research and development center for human-machine interfaces, vehicle sound systems, and electronics for electric and hybrid vehicles in Farmington Hills.

The company expects to create up to 60 new jobs in Michigan. The City of Farmington Hills is supportive of this project and has approved tax abatements for Panasonic.

Teijin Advanced Composites America Inc., a Japanese developer of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites for the automotive and other large-volume industries, proposes to invest up to $7.9 million to establish a new application development center in Auburn Hills.

The company expects to initially create up to 25 new jobs, resulting in a state incentive of $375,000. Michigan was chosen over other competing sites in Ohio and Kentucky. The City of Auburn Hills is supportive of this project and has approved tax abatements for Teijin.

“Teijin and Panasonic are the latest deals to be made under our new performance-based business investment program, one of Governor Snyder’s main efforts to build a friendlier business climate in Michigan and drive Michigan’s economic turnaround,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “These new flexible incentives, paired with Michigan’s simplified and reduced business tax structure and initiatives to connect employers with talented workers, are creating one of the best business climates in the country.”

The Teijin project is the most recent development to come out of Snyder’s mission investment to Asia last September, when he led a delegation to promote business opportunities in Michigan to major company executives and to meet with Japanese, Chinese and Korean government officials.

In the six months since Snyder’s Asia mission, two other new projects have been announced as a result of that trip: Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., which announced in January it will expand its operations in Michigan by building a $15 million hot and cold weather dynamometer test center at its Superior Township location south of Ann Arbor; and Nexteer Automotive, which announced last October announced it will invest $150 million in its Saginaw County operations, retaining more than 1,000 jobs.

Signed into law by Snyder in December, the Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

The Michigan Business Development Program replaces the state’s previous MEGA program that was a feature of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax restructuring approved by state government in 2011 and which went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.MichiganAdvantage.org.

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