Metro Detroit auto firms, manufacturers to invest $55.6M, hire 605

Automotive, manufacturing, and automotive manufacturing were all big winners in the latest round of job-creating tax breaks from the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp doled out $89.4 million in tax breaks to nine companies and two brownfield developments that promise to create up to 1,085 jobs over the next decade. Five Metro Detroit automotive and manufacturing firms received $55.6 million in tax abatements that are expected to create 605 jobs.

One of the more prominent projects is a consolidation at Link Engineering that will create jobs in a new Dearborn location. The transportation engineering, testing, and manufacturing firm plans to invest $9.8 million over the next seven years while creating 59 new jobs. It was also looking at a site in Ohio, but chose to stay in Michigan with the help of a $789,787 state tax break and another one under consideration from the city of Dearborn.

The 75-year-old family owned business plans to execute this consolidation and expansion by the end of the year. It employs 200 people and a handful of interns and independent contractors.

“We do a fair amount of work with Ford, so Dearborn is attractive,” says Tim Duncan, vice president of global test operations for Link Engineering. “Plus its location. It’s close to the airport.”

Among the other local projects:

Hallite Seals Americas plans to spend $7.4 million to expand its Wixom operations, which will retain 152 jobs and create another 60 over the next five years. The manufacturer of sealing devices received a $475,445 tax break. It was also considering another site in Texas.

KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme, an electric components manufacturing firm, will drop $27.1 million to relocate the existing production of its solar connector systems from Germany to Rochester Hills. It’s a move that will create 247 new jobs, thanks to a $3.9 million state tax abatement over seven years.

– Commercial-vehicle supplier Metalsa Structural Products received a $1.9 million tax break over seven years in exchange for a $1.9 million investment in Novi. The company will relocate its global commercial and research and development operations, creating 65 new jobs here.

– Wolverine Assemblies will invest $8.4 million to set up a new office in Wixom that will perform value-added assemblies, sub-assemblies, testing, sequencing, and warehousing for various products. The investment, which has garnered a $785,166 state tax credit, is expected to create 174 jobs over five years.

Source: Michigan Economic Development Corp and Tim Duncan, vice president of global test operations for Link Engineering
Writer: Jon Zemke