Lear Begins Work on New EV Parts Factory in Detroit

Southfield-based Lear Corp. has started preparing the site of the former Cadillac Stamping Plant on the east side of Detroit for the construction of a new plant that will supply parts for new electric vehicles being produced at GM’s Factory Zero Assembly Plant.
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a lear automobile seat
Work has begun on the new Lear Corp. plant that will make seats for GM electric and autonomous vehicles. // Courtesy of Lear

Southfield-based Lear Corp. has started preparing the site of the former Cadillac Stamping Plant on the east side of Detroit for the construction of a new plant that will supply parts for new electric vehicles being produced at GM’s Factory Zero Assembly Plant.

“As one of Michigan’s largest employers, Lear is excited to be opening a new state-of-the-art facility in the city of Detroit where we have had a manufacturing presence for many years,” says Ray Scott, president and CEO of Lear.

“This just-in-time plant will create hundreds of new jobs and supply seats for the battery electric and autonomous vehicles that will be built nearby at GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck. This facility is just another example of Lear providing innovative, quality and on-time products while helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

The new, $48 million, 684,000-square-foot facility near Conner Street and I-94 is expected to bring 450 new jobs to the area when it opens in mid-2022. A second phase of this project, which will provide room for another tenant, could include hundreds more jobs, according to officials.

Detroiters will have priority status for the Lear jobs, as part of an agreement made by the company with the city, similar to that made by FCA/Stellantis, which has resulted in the hiring of more than 2,100 Detroiters so far at the new Jeep assembly plant on Mack Avenue.

“Major employers understand that Detroit has a deep pool of talented workers eager to work,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to our partners at Lear and (developer) NorthPoint, another vacant eyesore in Detroit has been removed and will be replaced with a center of opportunity for Detroiters.”

Detroiters, according to Duggan have been involved in the Lear project from the beginning.

Inner City Contracting, a certified 51 percent minority owned, Detroit-based and headquartered contractor, led the $6 million demolition of the century-old plant.

Fifty-one percent of the construction workers building the new facility are required to be Detroit residents, under Executive Order (EO) 2021-2. Any contractor that fails to meet that goal must make a financial contribution to the city’s workforce training fund to prepare more Detroit residents for in-demand construction jobs.

The former Cadillac plant dates back to 1925 as a stamping facility for the Hudson Motor Co. Designed by Albert Kahn, the factory sent automobile bodies to the Hudson main assembly plant at Jefferson Avenue. GM bought the plant in 1956, where for 30 years it produced Cadillac hoods, fenders, and bumpers. The plant has sat mostly vacant since the 1980s.

Among the financial assistance the project has received include a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) via Wayne County for environmental cleanup on-site storm water detention. The city of Detroit approved an $18.4 million Brownfield TIF Plan for the project. This includes $2.4 million in school capture approved by the EGLE and $3.3 million in school capture approved by the MSF. The city also approved an Industrial Facilities Exemption tax incentive valued at approximately $4 million to support the redevelopment of the site.

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