Detroiter Tashar Mosby (center) cuts the ribbon Monday at the ceremonial grand opening of the new Flex-N-Gate auto parts plant on Detroit's east side. Mosby was the first employee hired at the new auto parts plant. He was joined (left to right) by Burt Jordan of Ford Motor Co., Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Councilman Scott Benson.
Longtime Ford Motor Co. supplier Flex-n-Gate has opened its $160 million parts plant in Detroit.
Flex-N-Gate owner Shad Khan, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan held a ribbon cutting event to open the 480,000-square-foot facility Monday afternoon.
It is believed to be the largest investment in Detroit by an auto supplier in more than 20 years. Flex-N-Gate will make a variety of metal and plastics parts for Ford at the plant. The company began work on the project in April 2017 near Interstate 94 on Detroit's east side.
Flex-N-Gate is partnering with the city on access to jobs and job training for city residents. The company is expected to eventually hire up to 750 people to work there.
The Detroit City Council approved a nearly $6 million property tax abatement to support the project.
Khan previously said the Urbana, Ill.-based auto parts supplier chose the site after he was personally urged by Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford to build a plant in Detroit.
"Nothing starts without a customer and here Ford is really the great impetus in this development in really a critical part of America that really needs this investment," said Khan, a Pakistani-American billionaire and owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
Detroit sold the vacant land to Flex-N-Gate for $1.3 million. The land was previously residential, but had been vacant for years.
Flex-n-Gate ranks No. 33 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $7.55 billion in 2017.