General Motors Co. is poised to invest $14 million and add more than 1,100 jobs to its San Francisco-area operations focused on autonomous and zero-emission vehicles.
A committee overseeing tax incentives under the California Competes program will meet Thursday afternoon to vote on credits totaling $91.4 million for 114 companies. At the top of the agenda is a proposal to issue $8 million in credits to GM in return for the jobs created and overall investment, which will play out over the next five years.
On Wednesday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly declined to offered on the automaker’s plans ahead of Thursday’s voting.
“We have made significant progress in developing safe and high-quality self-driving vehicle technology and as a result we expect to further grow our team and test fleet,” he said in an email response to questions. “We appreciate the opportunity the state offers through the California Competes program to support our expansion and continued development of this important technology that will reduce traffic fatalities.”
California offers the credits to companies who want to “come, stay or grow in California,” and the $8 million being considered for GM is the largest amount proposed for this session.
Brook Taylor, deputy director of communications for the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, said Thursday’s meeting will provide the final say on the credit proposals. If approved, GM would receive tax credits of $1 million in the 2017 tax year, $2.5 million in both 2018 and 2019, $1.5 million in 2010, and $500,000 in 2021.
“Once the committee votes, it’s a done deal,” Taylor said Wednesday. Two years ago, the same committee approved $15 million in tax credits for GM’s autonomous rival, Tesla Motors.
Online documentation concerning the tax credits offers few details on GM’s plans for the investment and new hires. The credit agreement indicates GM, or its GM Cruise Automation outfit, will “expand its California facility to increase research and development into autonomous and zero-emission vehicles.” A year ago, GM announced its acquisition of the San Francisco-based startup to bolster its autonomous vehicle program.
GM and Cruise Automation are testing dozens of fully autonomous vehicles in California, Arizona and Michigan.
Full-time jobs created under the credit proposal are expected to average $116,000, with minimum salaries of $59,000. In addition, GM would agree to “invest in, but not limited to, furniture and fixtures, computer equipment, and tenant improvements” as part of its expansion primarily in San Francisco.