Alphabet (Waymo) To Manufacture In Detroit's Former American Axle Plant

Marco Green
April 26, 2019

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Waymo said Tuesday it's found a "perfect facility" in Detroit to build autonomous cars, offering further details on a promise to return auto jobs to the vehicle industry's longtime hometown.

"Waymo could have located the world's first 100% dedicated Level 4 autonomous vehicle factory anywhere", Duggan said in the statement.

Waymo is working with the component company American Axle & Manufacturing to convert an existing factory in the traditional heart of the US's car-making industry up and have it running before the end of 2019.

Financial details of the arrangement weren't disclosed.

Waymo announced plans for the factory in January.

According to a report at Crain's, Waymo is receiving a $2 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to cover the first 100 jobs at the plant.

"There has been a real risk that the shift of the automotive industry could move from Detroit to Silicon Valley, and we've been fighting that every step of the way", Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan said after learning about Waymo's plans.

The move will create Waymo's first full-fledged assembly plant for the objective of retrofitting vehicles with self-driving systems and marks an expansion into the cradle of the traditional auto industry.

Last year, Ford Motor Co. announced that its 1.2 million-square-foot Corktown campus, anchored by the former Michigan Central Railway Station, will be its center for electric and self-driving vehicles when it opens in 2022.

Waymo is still largely thought of as the frontrunner in the blossoming self-driving auto industry.

GM has a similar operation about 40 miles away in Orion Township, Mich., where it assembles the Chevrolet Bolt electric auto. The vehicle used in this test was developed in Novi and manufactured in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Waymo indicated that it has selected MI for its first production facility.

The business states it'll lease a now-closed American Axle & Manufacturing plant north of downtown so the vehicles Chrysler Pacifica minivans can be converted by it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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