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The American subsidiary of a Japanese mobile-electronics manufacturer is moving its headquarters for the Americas from California to Metro Detroit.

Alpine Electronics of America Inc. said this week it plans a $5.1-million office building expansion in Auburn Hills to make its move April 19. The subsidiary of Tokyo-based Alps Electric Co. Ltd., which specializes in car audio and navigation systems, is working jointly with its customers to develop technology and products for autonomous vehicles.

Alpine's investment would create 100 new jobs in Oakland County, including some new hires. Some sales, engineering and support staff are transferring from its headquarters in Torrance, California. The company currently has 189 employees in Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Its parent company has an existing facility in Auburn Hills at 1500 Atlantic Blvd., off Harmon Road between Giddings Road and Interstate 75. Alpine would add an 11,000-square-foot expansion to that site. 

“This move," Sakae Okuda, Alpine's president, said in a statement, "will help strengthen operations closer to our automotive customers in the Americas and ensure growth in a very competitive market."

The MEDC approved a $650,000 performance-based grant for the project. The city of Auburn Hills also is reviewing a request for a 50-percent property tax reduction.

"There are a lot of automotive customers in our community and in neighboring areas that will strengthen their operations," Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel said. "It's always great when a company chooses to come to Auburn Hills and expand to Auburn Hills. It showcases their confidence for wanting to invest and reinvest."

Alpine follows several other recent announcements of companies moving their headquarters to Metro Detroit. Last week, General Motors Co. said it was moving the headquarters of its Cadillac brand from New York to Warren. Midland-based Chemical Financial Corp. said in July it was moving its home base to downtown Detroit.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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