Wednesday, 01 June 2016 13:36

Illinois-based Flex-N-Gate to Build Nearly $100M Detroit Facility

An expansive and strategically located parcel of vacant land on Detroit's eastside will gain a major new tenant in the ongoing campaign to attract manufacturing jobs to the city, Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Mike Duggan announced May 25.

Flex-N-Gate owner Shahid Khan said his company will invest $95 million in construction and capital costs for a facility that will supply parts to Ford Motor Company. Potential additional investment could push the project to at least $100 million.


Khan said the project will create at least 400 and up to 650 new jobs in Detroit over the next three years. At full capacity, up to 750 total jobs could be added.


Flex-N-Gate has committed to meeting Detroit-based hiring and contracting thresholds outlined in Executive Orders 4 & 5 (2014) and to develop a comprehensive hiring plan in conjunction with the City's Human Rights Department and Detroit Employment Solutions, Corp., to help ensure jobs for Detroit residents.


Flex-N-Gate is an auto supplier of exterior trim components, aluminum and steel modular stamped body in white and chassis assemblies, lighting and other OEM automotive products. 


"We're proud that Flex-N-Gate is investing in Detroit, and in the people of Detroit," Snyder said. "Detroit's resurgence is an important part of the Michigan comeback. Companies around the world recognize that our state is the global leader in automotive, and with good reason. We have a talented workforce that is passionate about keeping our state at the center of the industry for generations to come."


Khan expressed his enthusiasm over the project. "Our news today from Detroit is further evidence that the United States auto industry is strong, promising and experiencing exceptional growth," said Khan.  "Building a new plant from the ground up within the Detroit city limits will be a milestone moment for Flex-N-Gate, made possible thanks to our partnership and collaboration with Ford, the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan." 


Ford also praised the new partnership. "We are proud to work with Flex-N-Gate, the City of Detroit and State of Michigan, to bring good paying jobs to the city. We value our relationships with suppliers, and appreciate the commitment Flex-N-Gate has made to Ford Motor Company and the local area," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group vice president, global purchasing.


This new multi-layered investment is the culmination of a collaborative effort among the city of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which administers incentives and programs on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund.


"The expansion of Flex-N-Gate's presence in Michigan demonstrates the broad range of productive possibilities for private investors and job creators when local and state economic development teams work with one of the state's bedrock automotive companies and a privately owned auto supplier," said MEDC CEO Steve Arwood, who noted that Flex-N-Gate is among 81 of the top global auto suppliers that have North American headquarters or tech centers in the state.


From 2009 through the second quarter of 2015, automakers and auto suppliers have made $16 billion investments into Michigan, accounting for about 20 percent of auto-industry investment in North America.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, from 2009 to 2015, 175,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in Michigan.


Designation of a Renaissance Zone for Flex-N-Gate is expected to be addressed at the August 2016 meeting of the Michigan Strategic Fund board.