The lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems has announced plans to build a new $40 million headquarters complex in Novi, Michigan, according to a new press release from A123.
The new complex — to be located off of Interstate 96 “near the Fountain Walk complex” — will be built on a 32 acre site that’s already owned by the firm. It will feature a manufacturing plant, an engineering center, new laboratory floor space, and the head of corporate functions.
The complex is planned to serve as a replacement for A123’s leased space in Livonia and Romulus (Michigan). A total of over 400 employees will be hosted at the 150,000 square foot campus once completed.
“We are making a commitment to a continued significant presence in Michigan, in proximity to the skilled and experienced talent here,” commented Jason Forcier, CEO of A123 Systems. “This new complex meets future needs by becoming our epicenter of engineering. It will allow us to grow our engineering workforce and bring testing inside, that has previously been done outside the company. In addition to our corporate staff and our engineering group, we will maintain manufacturing capability for systems assembly to meet the demands of the US marketplace as they continue to evolve.”
The press release continues: “As part of adapting facilities to match the transformation of A123 Systems’ business in the United States, the company also announced it will consolidate its US manufacturing operations into a smaller site on the new campus. This will impact approximately 200 manufacturing jobs at the company’s current locations in Livonia and Romulus, Michigan.” That sounds like downsizing and employment cuts. But the next paragraph changes the story.
“Importantly, with these changes, the company expects that its net impact on the Michigan and US economy through its payroll will surpass its current level by $10 million annually, by the end of 2019. The primary driver of this net payroll growth will be the company’s expanding engineering staff and testing capabilities with the new Michigan site.”
Production will still primarily take place closer to customers (in cheaper labor markets), such as in the Czech Republic and China.
Construction on the new complex in Michigan is expected to begin in late 2017, and the company expects to begin moving into the facility by the end of next year.
Images courtesy A123
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