Interesting news from Mercedes-Benz when they announced that they are planning to open a new alternative powertrain technology center. Based on the campus of Mercedes’ Redford Township, Michigan facility, the German company made the announcement shortly after the township approved a tax exemption.
The Detroit Free Press said that Redford Township’s tax exemption would allow Mercedes-Benz to purchase $2.3 million worth of equipment for use at the Redford site. Located just 15 miles outside of the Detroit city limits, the move announced by Mercedes can only be seen as positive for an area struggling during the recent economic downturn.
Just how much of a positive impact the move by Mercedes-Benz will have is hard to say, specifically, at this point. The German car maker has yet to publicize just how much it will invest in its new research and development facility, although current estimates speculate that Mercedes new investment is expected to spawn 223 new jobs. And at this point in time, every job counts.
The new Mercedes-Benz facility will work on the automaker’s upcoming generation of transmissions, electronics and control software as well as conventional and alternative engine testing. There is no word, as of yet, whether Tesla, who recently announced a technical partnership with Merc will be involved. There are persistent rumors that Mercedes might also use the Redford Township facility to construct the company’s first diesel-hybrid powertrain.
Besides the obvious benefit this will have for the people of Redford Township and Michigan, the move by Mercedes points to a growing trend of outside auto manufacturers investing more and more in American based facilities. Whether factories or research centers, it seems like foreign auto manufactures know a good deal when they see one.
Disused facilities are cheaper to modernize than building from scratch, and the pre-existing base of talent, from line workers all the way up to trained engineers is also hard to ignore.
Source: Left Lane News
Photo from Flickr user Tomás Fano