DETROIT -- Dakkota Integrated Systems LLC is looking into expanding its manufacturing footprint in Detroit at a former high school site where the Stellantis supplier recently opened a plant.
Dakkota's instrument panel assembly plant on the city's east side spans 345,000 square feet on what once was the Kettering High School's athletic field. The plan had also included demolishing the school buildings on the property for a plant double that size, but it never came to fruition.
Dakkota CEO Andra Rush told Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, on Thursday that those plans are still in play.
"I would love to have some kind of purposeful and meaningful long-term opportunity on the Kettering school site," Rush said after a media event at the plant. "From these products that we are assembling, major components that are coming offshore and onshore, we hope to find common components that we can manufacture not only for Stellantis or General Motors but Toyota, Honda ..."
Rush said Dakkota is considering building additional factory space on the site that would be equal in size to the one built during the COVID-19 pandemic and opened in March 2021. She said the project could also involve workforce training and education like what took place on the property before the school closed in 2012.
Rush said she is targeting dollars from the federal government to support the redevelopment and is in regular contact with the city about it.
"We are in talks," she said. "We've got to kind of firm it up. We want to find the right thing."