Lear begins work on new electric vehicle parts plant in Detroit

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Work has started on Lear Corp’s new plant. which will manufacture seats for GM’s electric and autonomous vehicles. // Courtesy of Lear

Southfield-based Lear Corp. has begun preparing the site of the former Cadillac stamping plant in east Detroit for the construction of a new plant that will supply parts for new electric vehicles produced at the GM’s Factory Zero assembly plant.

“As one of Michigan’s largest employers, Lear is excited to open a new, state-of-the-art facility in the city of Detroit where we have had an industrial presence for many years,” said Ray Scott , President and CEO of Lear. .

“This just-in-time plant will create hundreds of new jobs and provide seating for the electric and autonomous battery-powered vehicles that will be built nearby at GM’s Zero plant in Detroit-Hamtramck. This facility is just another example of Lear providing innovative, quality and on-time products while helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals.

The new $ 48 million, 684,000 square foot facility near Conner Street and I-94 is expected to create 450 new jobs in the area when it opens in mid-2022. A second phase of the project, which will provide space for another tenant, could include hundreds of additional jobs, officials said.

The Detroiters will have priority status for Lear jobs, as part of a deal the company has made with the city, similar to that entered into by FCA / Stellantis, which has resulted in the hiring of more than 2,100 Detroiters so far. now to the new Jeep assembly. factory on Mack Avenue.

“Major employers understand that Detroit has a large pool of talented workers eager to work,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to our partners at Lear and (developer) NorthPoint, another vacant visual pollution in Detroit has been removed and will be replaced with a hub of opportunity for the people of Detroit.”

The people of Detroit, according to Duggan, have been involved in Project Lear from the start.

Inner City Contracting, a 51% minority-owned certified contractor based in Detroit and headquartered, led the $ 6 million demolition of the century-old factory.

Fifty-one percent of construction workers who build the new facility must be residents of Detroit, under Executive Order (EO) 2021-2. Any entrepreneur who fails to meet this goal must make a financial contribution to the city’s workforce training fund to prepare more Detroit residents for in-demand construction jobs.

The old Cadillac plant dates back to 1925 as a stamping plant for the Hudson Motor Co. Designed by Albert Kahn, the plant sent auto bodies to the main Hudson assembly plant on Jefferson Avenue . GM bought the plant in 1956, where for 30 years it produced Cadillac hoods, fenders and bumpers. The factory has remained largely vacant since the 1980s.

Some of the financial support the project received included a $ 1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) via Wayne County for environmental clean-up at the waste retention site. rainy waters. The city of Detroit has approved an $ 18.4 million TIF Brownfield plan for the project. This includes $ 2.4 million in EGLE-approved school catch and $ 3.3 million in MSF-approved school catch. The city also approved an industrial plant exemption tax incentive worth about $ 4 million to support the site’s redevelopment.


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