LANSING, Mich. —  Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) today lauded the Michigan Strategic Fund’s decision to authorize financial incentives for Ford after they cemented plans to expand the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and build a Manufacturing Innovation Center — initiatives that would create 650 to 700 jobs.

“Southeast Michigan has always been known as the automobile capital of the world,” Sen. Hopgood said. “We are in a unique situation to reposition ourselves as a high-tech corridor of innovation, and these financial investments will help our community achieve progress in that direction.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund has granted Ford Motor Co. two incentives valued at $10 million apiece to solidify the company’s investment in Michigan. In early January, Ford announced its intentions to spend $700 million on the Flat Rock Assembly plant in Michigan as a part of a larger, $4.5 billion project in hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicle production.

“Responsible business leaders who put the health of their workers and the environment in line with their profits should be supported,” Sen. Hopgood said. “I’m grateful that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund realize the value in investing in long-term economic and job growth in our state.”

Ford had originally planned to move production of the Ford Focus to a new assembly plant in Mexico, but after sales of compact cars decreased, the company decided to relocate the Focus to an existing plant in Mexico, and invest heavily in electric and autonomous vehicles in Michigan 

“Michigan is home to an array of world-class universities that are leading the way in electric and autonomous engineering,” Sen. Hopgood said. “This investment in skilled trades and high-tech jobs will help train, and retain, automotive workers in our state.”