Ann Arbor’s Navitas to Invest $9.3M, Cites “Treasure Trove of Opportunity”

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tNavitas Systems will expand its Ann Arbor operations and relocate to a new facility in nearby Pittsfield Township following a partial acquisition earlier this year of A123 Systems, a lithium battery manufacturer. The Woodridge, Ill.-based company says it will invest $9.3 million and create 125 jobs in Michigan over the next four years.

t“My team here is excited to be moving into a newer, more expansive facility to carry out our important R&D activities for government and commercial energy storage and power electronics customers,” says Les Alexander, a Navitas general manager.

tAlexander says the new facility will allow the company to expand its operations and add low volume production of power electronics and energy storage systems.

tSince opening its Ann Arbor location in 2010, the company has worked with NextEnergy in Detroit’s Midtown District, a leading accelerator of advanced energy technologies and industries, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. As a result, the company has bid on energy storage idle reduction systems in local ambulances and received a $1 million performance-based grant.

t“Navitas Systems’ new advanced battery facility will help diversify Michigan’s economy and provide good, high paying jobs for years to come,” says Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the MEDC. “The company’s decision to invest in Michigan is a strong statement about the great opportunities that, thanks to our business climate improvements, (we) now offer to growing companies.”

tAdditionally, the MEDC on Wednesday approved Michigan Business Development Program incentives to Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. in Comins Township near Mio, Pillar Technology Group in Ann Arbor, and Ventra Grand Rapids 5 in Kentwood.

tCooper-Standard will use the incentives to help expand assembly of Ford P415 products, Pillar will open a software studio in Ann Arbor, while Ventra will add assembly of lighting products at a new facility. Collectively, the projects are expected to generate up to $24 million in investments and add 403 new jobs in Michigan

t“These expansions in our automotive and IT sectors highlight Michigan’s singular leadership in making things, and making things work,” Finney says.

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