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Monday, January 11, 2010

Ford Consolidating Electric Car Program In Michigan

Ford Motor Co. has promised to create 1,000 jobs in southeast Michigan where it will further consolidate its electric vehicle program under a tax incentive agreement approved by a state economic development board Monday.

The company told the Michigan Economic Growth Authority that the new jobs would be in advanced lithium ion battery production.

At the Monday meeting, the state also expanded its already established tax incentive program that aims to retain thousands of Ford jobs through other work related to gas-electric hybrid and plug-in vehicles using the advanced batteries.

Ford announced in May that it plans to build its next-generation Focus, including an electric version, in a facility near Detroit.

Ford facilities in Wayne, Warren, Sterling Heights and possibly Rawsonville near Ypsilanti could get the new work, according to a memo outlining the agreement between the state and Ford.

Under the agreement, the new battery-related jobs would come with the help of a tax credit valued at up to $78 million over a multi-year period. Ford would invest at least $250 million in the project.

The other tax credit approved to help save existing jobs is worth up to $110 million. Around 3,900 more jobs could be saved with the expansion of the program, adding to the up to 4,700 jobs expected to be saved when the project was first announced in May.

Ford could invest an additional $300 million to $500 million tied to the expansion of the project.

Ford officials and Gov. Jennifer Granholm were expected to announce further details of the company's plans Monday at the Detroit auto show.

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