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Magna planning new $100M Auburn Hills EV seating plant with 500 jobs

Posted By: The Detroit News on March 30, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


Magna International Inc. is planning a new plant in Auburn Hills that would supply seats for future General Motors Co. electric vehicles, the Canadian auto supplier said on Thursday.

The potentially more than $100 million investment is expected to create 500 new jobs, spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst said in a statement. It would replace the former Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center at 1700 Brown Road that sits on 40.8 acres, according to an Auburn Hills Planning Commission document. Construction is expected to begin in July and be completed in November 2024.

“We are working with the city of Auburn Hills and the State of Michigan,” Fuerst said, “on a potential new facility that would ultimately supply GM’s Lake Orion Assembly Plant and Factory Zero.”

GM is investing $4 billion in its Orion plant, where it builds the all-electric Chevrolet Bolts and will launch the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra EV pickups. GM previously invested more than $2.2 billion to transition its Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center to build EVs. It’s building the Hummer EV truck and will assemble the Silverado and Sierras EV as well as the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle.

Magna’s proposed facility would be the “exclusive supplier of seating” for vehicles in Orion, according to the planning document. It would be 280,000-square-feet, including 85,000 square feet of warehouse space, 165,000 square feet of shop space and 30,000 square feet of office space. It will have almost 600 parking spaces.

The plant will run on three shifts, according to the document. The first from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. would be the largest with 250 to 300 people.

Magna would lease the space, though an agreement that has not been signed yet, Fuerst said. Southfield’s General Development Co. owns the property with Farmington Hills’ Friedman Real Estate after they acquired it in 2021. The planning commission board is scheduled to review the proposed plant’s site plan and tree removal permit on Wednesday.

Magna is working with the city of Auburn Hills and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. on the project, Fuerst said. MEDC spokesman Otie McKinley said it’s premature to discuss incentive details of a plan that may or may not go before the Michigan Strategic Fund board.

Oakland County officials in 2016 announced plans to shutter the animal shelter and relocate its operations to Pontiac.

The Auburn Hills site would be Magna’s latest expansion in Metro Detroit. Last year, the MEDC supported an expansion of an electric vehicle structures facility in St. Clair, a seating plant in Highland Park and a powertrain facility in Shelby Township.

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