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Magna will invest $500 million to expand EV facilities and bring over 1,500 new jobs to Michigan

Contract manufacturing superpower Magna International announced it is investing over $500 million to erect two new manufacturing facilities and expand a third in the state of Michigan. The new and expanded Magna facilities will develop components specifically for the growing market of electric vehicles and are expected to create over 1,500 new jobs in Michigan.

Even if you aren’t already aware of Magna International, there’s a very high chance you’ve driven a vehicle with at least one component the multi-national contract manufacturer has built. With over 130 manufacturing and assembly facilities in North America, alongside footprints in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa, Magna is one of the names in building quality auto components.

As the automotive industry as a whole pivots steadily toward electrified models, Magna has adapted its manufacturing as well. By developing everything from electrified powertrains, to ADAS systems, and entire EVs, Magna is providing several OEMs with the technology and components to go all-electric.

For instance, its current facility in St. Clair, Michigan, is where Magna produces steel EV battery enclosures for GMC’s Hummer EV. According to an announcement today, Magna is allocating over $500 million to expand that current Michigan site and build two additional facilities to support the production of vital EV components.

Magna Michigan
Magna’s current manufacturing footprint in St. Clair, Michigan, which will be expanded

Magna to expand EV manufacturing footprint in Michigan

Magna shared its latest expansion plans in a press release today, outlining how it intends to add to its existing footprint of 32 facilities and over 10,000 employees in Michigan alone.

In addition to the expansion of battery enclosure manufacturing in St. Clair, Michigan, Magna will erect new facilities to build powertrains in Shelby Township and seating components in Detroit. Magna’s chief marketing and sales officer Eric Wilds spoke to the company’s new $500 million commitment:

With our unmatched capabilities across our product areas, we continue to work with our customers to help them meet their mobility needs. We are excited to be able to bring new business, more investment and additional jobs to Michigan and we thank the state for its support.

According to The Detroit News, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved $10.2 million in state program grants for Magna International in support of its $500 million investment to expand. With its own financial commitment and state grants in place, Magna looks to deliver the following in the state of Michigan:

  • Add a 740,000-square-foot expansion to the existing St. Clair facility, creating an expected 920 new jobs
  • Erect an entirely new 200,000-square-foot greenfield powertrain facility in Shelby Township to supply battery tray components to EVs from OEMs that is expected to create 155 new jobs
  • Build a new 110,000-square-foot Magna brownfield facility (expected to create 490 new jobs when it reaches full production) in Detroit, Michigan, to supply seat frames, trim, and foam to “a US-based automaker”

This is a savvy move by a major contract manufacturer as more and more automakers look to move their vehicle and battery component assemblies onto US soil to qualify for federal tax credits under revised terms in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act.

For example, the upcoming Fisker Ocean originally qualified for credits but no longer will beginning January 1, 2023 because it will be assembled overseas by Magna International’s Austrian-based division, Magna-Steyr.

As we reported back in September, Magna-Steyr is considering a contract assembly plant in North America and is currently evaluating potential locations based on how sunny and windy it is, hinting at intentions to build a climate-friendly facility powered by renewables.

Since Magna International is the top contract manufacturer on the continent, we’d expect many more foreign automakers to work with the company to establish US manufacturing and assembly. With today’s latest news from Michigan, Magna appears to already be making moves to prepare for such production expansions on US soil.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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