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Magna will expand Highland Park seating plant, creating 480 new jobs

Magna International Inc. is investing more than $35 million to expand its Highland Park plant after winning two new full seat assembly contracts, the Canada-based auto supplier said Tuesday.

The plan is expected to create 480 new jobs, including nearly 300 entry-level positions, just as the automotive supplier sector faces deep strains following weeks of downtime and a long ramp-up process. Hiring begins immediately and will continue into the early part of next year, said Simon Kew, senior vice president of strategy and operations for Magna Seating.

“Magna is already a big company within Michigan,” he said. “And this is an exciting opportunity to expand especially with the times we’re in with the pandemic and restarting production with the new safety measures. We’re happy to be doing this in Southeast Michigan. With the incentives that were offered and us looking at our options, this made the most sense.”

The governing body of the economic development agency on Tuesday approved a $2,173,322 grant for the project that would add 5,000 square feet of space. The plans also call for adding 100 parking spaces, three shipping docks and two automated storage and retrieval shipping systems, as well as a redesign of all assembly lines to maximize space.

“This project represents our automotive manufacturing strength and demonstrated continued leadership in developing future mobility solutions,” MEDC CEO Mark Burton said during a conference call. “It chose Michigan thanks to our state’s connected supply chain, talented pool and continued economic growth under Gov. Whitmer over the past several months.”

Support for the project includes a five-year State Essential Services Assessment exemption on eligible manufacturing personal property. The company will pay the exemption’s 1% administrative fee of $3,267 following completion of the project’s first milestone.

Highland Park competed with another Magna facility in Moore, South Carolina, which already has the additional space needed for the contracts. They run through 2026 and 2027. Magna plans to renew its lease for the site at 12800 Oakland Park Blvd. that ends in December 2022.

Magna operates 30 facilities in Michigan and employs more than 10,000 residents, including 625 already in Highland Park.

“There’s always a competition between Michigan and likely other states, so each of those projects are considered for its specific value in terms of policies and what we have here,” Burton said. “We have the same approach, no matter who the company is when it comes to wanting to locate or wanting to grow in Michigan.”


Posted By: The Detroit News on January 23, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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