“Historically, we have never competed on a project of this magnitude,” Thelen said of the Gotion plant. “This is a rare moment in which we see this kind of opportunity. “It’s a really exciting opportunity that’s never been done before, because it allows us to see a path to really revitalize the economy in a declining region.”
Oakland County Orion Township Republican Rep. Donnie Steele, who opposed the transfer, said all three projects were EV battery factories.
“I’m really worried about moving forward in Michigan, that we don’t necessarily have a real vision, we don’t really have a lot of diversification.
Pointing to the labor shortage, she suggested that some of the incentive funds should be directed to improving schools instead. Republicans also criticize two of her factories and their ties to China.
But Thelen said 40,000 people work for auto suppliers in western Michigan. He warned that jobs would decline during the transition to EVs, as they are easier to design and build than cars with internal combustion engines.
“If we do nothing, we will lose about a third of jobs in that industry, which will have a dramatic impact on Michigan, and a dramatic impact on communities across the state.” We have to find a way to offset that loss and re-establish our position as the leader in this new economy, this new automotive economy, which is why I think this is essential.”
East Grand Rapids Democrat Rep. Phil Scaggs supported the move. He mentioned EV investment competition from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Nevada.
“We have to win this competition for engineering jobs, working jobs, entrepreneurs, pizzerias, supply chains and construction. This is an extraordinarily serious moment. We need to govern seriously, put rhetoric aside, put foreign policy hypotheses aside, and do what’s right for Michigan, Michigan people, and our future.”
https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/lawmakers-approve-585m-3-ev-battery-plants-michigan Lawmakers approve $585 million for three EV battery plants in Michigan