New Mexico got the good news yesterday that Albuquerque would be the location of Tesla Motor's WhiteStar factory, but two news bits out of the Midwest show that things aren't all bad around here (pretty bad economically, but not all bad).
First, Honda started "limited hiring" for its plant near Greensburg, Indiana. Exactly which vehicles Honda will make there is not yet clear, but the company is saying they will be "vehicles powered by fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines" (the engines themselves are made in Anna, Ohio) and this particular facility has an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles. Full-on hiring will start later this year for a total of about 2,000 employees associates. For more info, check out this website.

Second, FEV Engine Technology announced its Michigan-based operations would grow by 180 "highly desirable technical jobs." FEV works on simulation models of various hybrid powertrains and on diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment technologies, among other things. FEV's press release is after the jump.

[Source: FEV Engine Technology, Inc., American Honda Motor Co.]


FEV Engine Technology, Inc. Announces Major Expansion in Michigan

Michigan-based operations to grow by 180

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- FEV Engine Technology, Inc. (FEV) announced today that it will invest $4.3 million to expand its facilities in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) approved a Single Business Tax credit with a value of $1.1 million over seven years, clearing the way for the expansion, according to Robert Last, FEV's vice president of operations and communications.

"We appreciate the dedication and cooperation that Governor Jennifer Granholm and the MEDC have demonstrated in making this expansion economically viable in Michigan," said Last. "Our expansion in Auburn Hills will enable FEV to add some 180 jobs over the life of the project, which is a critical enabler for enhancing the engineering and testing services we provide to our customers."

A Win for Michigan

"In this fiercely competitive world, strong, growing companies like FEV will help advance Michigan," said Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "The FEV expansion is a 'win' for Michigan and demonstrates our leadership in automotive research and development. We are committed to pursue additional international investment in Michigan; our partnership with FEV exemplifies that commitment."

Last added that the City of Auburn Hills also worked closely with FEV to ensure that the company could continue to expand in the community it has called home since 1994. The Auburn Hills City Council recently approved a 12-year tax abatement valued at $288,000. "The combination of the tax credit from MEDC and the Auburn Hills tax abatement supported our internal operational considerations and made Southeast Michigan the obvious choice for this new expansion," said Last.

New Test Cells to Meet Customer Demand

Specifically, the expansion will include a combined office and warehouse building to be constructed on a six-and-a-half-acre parcel of land adjacent to FEV's current facility. The building will eventually be expanded in one or more steps, to a maximum size of approximately 130,000 square feet. By providing the space to increase the company's Michigan-based headcount, the new facility will also enable the future construction of additional new test cell facilities, which are needed to meet strongly increasing customer demand. The anticipated completion date is August, 2007.

"This investment in Michigan is crucial to FEV's future growth plans," said Last. "We are continuously adapting in an effort to be one of the major innovation engines within the transportation industry. The perception at the moment is that this industry needs a new direction. Our goal in the short term is to harness and direct innovation to help our industry reinvent the roadmap."

About FEV

FEV is an independent engine and powertrain systems research, design and development company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. Globally, it provides complete concept-to-production (C2P(TM)) support to the transportation industry, commercial engine manufacturers and the emerging fuel-cell industry. The company designs, prototypes and develops advanced gasoline-, diesel- and alternative-fueled engines, as well as advanced vehicle powertrain concepts, electronic control systems and hybrid-electric vehicles. FEV also is a global supplier of advanced test cell, instrumentation and test equipment.


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