MI: SF Motors to Invest $10.7M for New R&D Facility, Creating 150 Jobs

21 Nov, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder announced that SF Motors, Inc., a manufacturer of next-generation electric vehicles, is establishing a research and development facility in Washtenaw County. Snyder made the announcement as he and his delegation completed the sixth full day of his 2016 China investment mission.

“The decision by SF Motors to locate its U.S. engineering R&D facility in Michigan is good news that demonstrates how leading-edge, global companies are looking to Michigan to expand and create more and better jobs,” Snyder said. “Michigan is leading the world in automotive technology, research and development. And with a greatly improved business climate, Michigan is the smart location to grow a technology business and create high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

SF Motors, Inc. is a subsidiary of auto manufacturer and supplier Sokon Industry Group, one of the top 500 private companies in China. SF Motors was established in January 2016 with the goal of becoming a driving force for next-generation electric vehicles.

Headquartered in the San Francisco area, SF Motors plans to establish its U.S. research and development center in Pittsfield Township, investing more than $10.7 million and creating 150 jobs. As a result, the project has been awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Michigan was chosen over a few competing sites in other states.

“Despite the transformation of the automotive industry in the world, Michigan remains the global center for automotive research and development. The establishment of our Engineering R&D center in Michigan is an integral part of our global business strategy,” said Chairman of Sokon Industry Group Xinghai Zhang. “We are thankful for the support the State of Michigan has shown us and look forward to working with the local government for years to come.”

“We are excited to build our engineering R&D center in Pittsfield Township, Michigan,” said CEO of SF Motors, Inc. John Zhang. “Michigan is at the cutting edge of new automotive technologies as well as being an engineering powerhouse and we want to be a part of this great community.”

Ann Arbor SPARK and its local partner, Pittsfield Township, actively worked to attract SF Motors to the region. Moving forward, Ann Arbor SPARK and Pittsfield Township will continue to collaborate and support the company's growth, including opportunities for incentives and talent assistance. “Ann Arbor attracts global attention from companies like SF Motors because it's one of the few places in the world that has a confluence of mobility innovation and talent,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “The significant investment that SF Motors is making in the Ann Arbor region is a sign of confidence; the company recognizes that this region can support its long-term growth as it works to bring its electric vehicle technology to market.”

Attracting investment in the state’s automotive industry is a top priority for the MEDC. According to the Center for Automotive Research, Michigan ranks no. 1 in automotive research and development, with more than 75 percent of the nation’s automotive R&D spending taking place in Michigan’s 375 R&D centers. Michigan has the largest concentration of engineers in the nation, and also ranks first in new automotive-related jobs since 2009 with an increase of more than 200,000 through March 2016.

Snyder will spend the last two days of his mission in Beijing and Nanchang, where he will hold a Michigan press conference and meet with business leaders and government officials.

The trip marks the Snyder administration’s sixth mission to China. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Japan, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, Switzerland, Ireland and Great Britain.

Follow the governor's trip on social media at #InvestInMI. Photos are also available here.