Ford Motor Company announced on March 28 that the company is investing $850 million into the Michigan Assembly Plant to retool the plant to build the all-new Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco. Employees at the plant will begin building the Ranger at the end of 2018 and the Bronco in 2020.
Ford Motor Company comprises approximately two square miles of the City’s six square miles and is the largest employer in Wayne.
Wayne Mayor Susan Rowe is “elated” at the news, and the timing couldn’t be better for a city that is facing some significant economic challenges.
“For some time, there has been discussion about the future of the Wayne Assembly Plant. Since 2003, I’ve served Wayne first as a council member and now as Mayor. I’ve seen the ups and downs of the economy and the detrimental impact plant closures have had on communities across the country,” said Mayor Rowe.
“Ford brings a tremendous amount of traffic into our downtown, and I believe that this investment in our economy is an investment in our community,” the Mayor added.
Mayor Rowe was in attendance at a Michigan Strategic Fund Board meeting in Lansing to support Ford’s request for grant funding and State Essential Services Assessment Exemptions for their upcoming investments in several communities, including Wayne.
When asked by the board what incentives the City of Wayne would be providing to Ford during the Wayne Assembly Plant project and what limitations, if any, the City had identified, Mayor Rowe discussed the current financial challenges and the inability to provide abatements. “The City of Wayne was hit hard by the recession of 2008 and still has not recovered. In fact, we are working to stay out of the state’s control,” said Mayor Rowe. “At this time, with the loss of revenue sharing, the fact that the City owes hundreds of thousands from a tribunal tax settlement and the elimination of the personal property tax, the City is not in a position to provide any tax abatements to Ford for this project.”
The Mayor did state that the City could expedite permits through the Buildings and Engineering Department and a letter was sent to Ford acknowledging this commitment.
To learn more about the Michigan Strategic Fund, please visit the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s website at: www.michigan- business.org/michigan-strategic-fund-msf.