Southfield-based Lear Corporation will construct a 160,000-square-foot building at the location of the former administration building at Buick City, north of downtown Flint. Mayor Karen Weaver said building on the iconic former Buick City site is a major boost to Flint’s economic prospects.
“We are proud to partner with Lear on this exciting new project,” said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. “This project will provide hundreds of hard-working Flint residents an opportunity to obtain good paying jobs within the city limits. We are happy to welcome another new company to Flint, and look forward to the boost it will give our local economy. It’s been a long time coming.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a $4.35-million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support Lear’s $29.3-million capital investment at the site, which includes the subassembly and final assembly of automotive seats. This assembly plant will provide for the creation of 435 new jobs in the state.
“Lear’s presence in Flint will continue the rich automotive history that’s been a part of our region for decades,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber looks forward to working with Lear and providing the support that the company needs to be successful here.”
The City of Flint offered a tax abatement to reduce the overall project costs. Michigan was selected over competing sites in the United States and Mexico. Lear aims to begin construction at the site in the fall with operations starting next spring, which will mark the return of auto manufacturing to the iconic location for the first time since 1999.
“We are proud to be growing in our home state and keeping manufacturing jobs in America,” said Ray Scott, Lear executive vice president and president of Seating Operations. “This expansion of capacity reflects the positive outlook we have for our business, and will contribute to the revitalization of Flint.”
“These new investments underscore Michigan’s expanding economy, and the appeal and promise of the state’s logistics capacity, automotive industry and autonomous vehicle potential along with a renewed commitment to manufacturing jobs,” said Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “These high-impact developments could prove to be a catalyst for additional investments.”