The supplier recently secured a contract to supply Rivian with vehicle and battery frame assembly robotic systems. The automaker, which has received more than $1 billion in investments from Amazon, Ford and others, plans to begin production if its all-electric truck and SUV in late 2020 with deliveries beginning in 2021. The vehicles will be assembled at Rivian's plant in Normal, Ill., a former Mitsubishi Motors plant it acquired in 2016.
The Paslin project, which is supported by a $1 million grant from state of Michigan, is expected to create 200 jobs in Warren, Mich., over a three-year period. The city of Warren is supporting the expansion by expediting permitting and hosting a job fair.
The new jobs are expected to pay $10 more than the average hourly wage in the surrounding county, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said in a memo.
Paslin considered locating its investment at Rivian's Illinois plant before securing the incentives, the MEDC memo said. Rivian is based near Detroit in Plymouth, Mich.
"The Normal, Illinois investment option would likely consist of a smaller scope project that would be dedicated to only servicing the specific (Rivian) contract until the EV market is more clearly known," the memo said. "Unfortunately, such a delay may allow direct competitors to secure a dominant position in the electric vehicle assembly system market, jeopardizing (Paslin's) ability to compete for future EV contracts ... Even small cost disadvantages can mean the loss of current and future contracts which have a direct affect on profitability and employee headcounts in Michigan."
Paslin operates five locations and employs 678, all in Michigan.
Efforts to reach a Paslin spokesperson were unsuccessful at deadline.
The supplier was acquired for an undisclosed sum in 2016 by China robotic manufacturer Zhejiang Wanfeng Technology Development Co.