Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. plans to invest up to $70.1 million over the next five years to build an EV battery component plant in Michigan.
The 345,000-square-foot plant in St. Clair, Mich., is expected to employ 304 and is supported by a $1.5 million grant from the state of Michigan, or more than $4,900 per qualified job.
The planned investment is the result of a new eight-year contract win to produce structural battery enclosures, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said in a memo. The components will be used in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, Magna said in a statement Tuesday. The steel, aluminum and composite enclosures are designed to protect the electric batteries from water and other elements that could cause damage.
"Bringing this new battery enclosure technology to market is another example of Magna's ability to deliver a full-system solution to automakers supporting their focus on a lower emissions future," said John Farrell, president of Cosma International, Magna's body and chassis group. "The move toward electrification allows us to rethink what is possible and demonstrate how we can leverage our core strengths to continue bringing customers innovative solutions that help them meet their goals, no matter how challenging."
The plant will operate under the Magna Electric Vehicle Structures – Michigan Inc. subsidiary that was established in 2012.
The jobs created at the plant will pay between $17 per hour to $48 per hour with an average wage of $27 per hour, the MEDC said in the memo. The jobs include welding engineers, skilled trades technicians, operators and various plant management.
The city of St. Clair is expected to support the project through a property tax abatement and St. Clair Community College will provide free training for employers via the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.
The new jobs will be a welcome sign for St. Clair County, which was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic recession. Of the state's 83 counties, St. Clair County had the fifth worst unemployment rate in December at 9.8 percent, according to data from Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
Magna, with its U.S. headquarters in suburban Detroit, employs more than 10,000 at 35 facilities in Michigan. The company ranks No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $39.4 billion in 2019.