Michigan Ranked Third, Detroit Ranked First in USA for Foreign Direct Investment

Michigan has been ranked third in the country, and Detroit has been ranked first in the country for foreign direct investment projects, according to new rankings released by Site Selection magazine.
Detroit skyline
Detroit was ranked first in the nation by Site Selection magazine for foreign direct investment projects. // Stock photo

Michigan has been ranked third in the country, and Detroit has been ranked first in the country for foreign direct investment projects, according to new rankings released by Site Selection magazine.

The rankings are based on U.S. projects the magazine has tracked since 2015 that have had at least a share of involvement by a foreign-based firm.

“These national recognitions reinforce the strength of our business attraction strategies and efforts to foster an environment for job-creating investments,” says Josh Hundt, chief business development officer and executive vice president with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“Global companies are continuing to realize the competitive advantages that Michigan has to offer: high-tech engineering resources, top-notch research and design, and a highly skilled workforce matched with a low cost of living and low cost of doing business.”

The state has more than 1,400 foreign companies with more than 5,000 locations across Michigan. By matching established and diverse industries with foreign companies that have similar goals, Michigan has recorded $11.3 billion in foreign direct investment since 2015 within key industries, including automotive.

Site Selection’s tallies show the Detroit metro area leading the way in foreign direct investment projects over the past five years due to the automotive industry, led by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills.

In May 2019, FCA announced an investment of $4.5 billion, creating 6,433 jobs at a new assembly plant in Detroit and five existing Michigan facilities. The project represents the largest automotive assembly plant deal in the U.S. in a decade and is the first new automotive assembly plant in Detroit in more than 30 years.

Last month, FCA announced 4,100 Detroit residents have been hired at its new Detroit Assembly Complex.

Site Selection also recognized India’s Mahindra Automotive North America Manufacturing, which recently established its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, and the 2019 announcement by France’s Faurecia, a global auto supplier, to establish operations in Highland Park.

“Our mission since 1954 has been to document where companies choose to operate and why,” says Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection. “Applying analytics to our proprietary projects database as well as to other meaningful data sets produces results that continue to be meaningful to the location decision-making process of our 45,000 global corporate readers.”

The rankings, available here, were made in conjunction with Site Selection’s 2020 Business Climate Ranking, an annual ranking that looks at a survey of corporate executives and site selectors, as well as an index of project counts and other criteria. In the face of the pandemic, Michigan remained at No. 16 from 2019-2020.

Other Michigan accolades this year include:

  • Business Facilities Deal of the Year to FCA’s $4.5 billion investment in Detroit and nearby Macomb County.
  • Chief Executive Best and Worst States for Business – No. 13 (19-spot increase from 2019, largest jump in ranking history).
  • Area Development Silver Shovel award for excellence in economic development and job creating projects in the 8-12 million population category.
  • Capturing eight top 10 spots on Business Facilities’ 16th annual Rankings Report for 2020, including once again taking the No. 1 ranking for in the Automotive Manufacturing Strength category.
  • Up three spots in Area Development 2020 Top States for Doing Business rankings; No. 7 overall for Site Readiness programs.

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