Toyota to invest $75M, add 85 jobs in Michigan

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. wants to add 85 jobs and expand powertrain engineering operations at its Ann Arbor Township facility, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The automaker wants to add about 45,000 square feet of space to its powertrain operations in Ann Arbor Township as part of a $75.15 million expansion, according to a MEDC memo.

The project is expected to help secure more research and development and engineering work in Michigan in the future, the MEDC said.

The Michigan Strategy Fund on Tuesday approved an amendment to increase a previous business development grant Toyota was awarded by $1 million for the additional investment and jobs creation. Ann Arbor Township also has agreed to provide a property tax abatement for the project.

In August, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $4 million grant for Toyota for relocating its procurement or purchasing operations from Kentucky to York Township in Washtenaw County. Toyota plans to construct a new facility at about $39 million for that work and create 250 jobs.

Toyota also evaluated sites in California for powertrain expansion, the MEDC said.

In December, Toyota said it would invest $126 million at its Ann Arbor Technical Center to expand powertrain operations and would consolidate vehicle development at a new building on its York Township campus. The company said then that 85 jobs would relocate to Michigan from California.

In all, Toyota is investing about $126 million in Michigan with the powertrain expansion in Ann Arbor Township and in a new prototype facility and the procurement center expansion in York Township.

Projects are expected to start this spring, said Bruce Brownlee, senior executive administrator at the Toyota Technical Center.

Brownlee said the powertrain and procurement facilities would open in late 2016 or early 2017.

Toyota employs about 1,100 workers in Michigan. It is working to establish a new headquarters for its North American operations in Texas. It also has said it will focus on expanding locations in Michigan and Kentucky.