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Lear best known as seating supplier, but raising electrification profile.

Lear Investments to Create Up to 500 Michigan Jobs

Lear will produce electric-vehicle components at a new plant in Oakland County’s Independence Township and existing facilities in Traverse City and Sterling Heights.

Lear, one of the auto industry’s largest and most diversified suppliers, says it will spend $112.5 million to build a new factory and retool two existing ones in Michigan to produce components for electric vehicles.

Lear plans to develop a 120,000-sq.-ft. (11,150-sq.-m) site in Independence Township, in suburban Detroit, to manufacture battery-disconnect units, part of an EV’s electrification sub-system, for advanced battery packs that will be supplied to automakers.

The company notes the “highly complex” components control power transfer from the vehicle’s battery to its electrical systems, allowing EVs to charge faster and travel farther while delivering the higher performance requirements needed to power SUVs and light-duty trucks.

In addition, Lear plans to expand its plant in Traverse City to manufacture components related to EV battery packs and upgrade a plant in Sterling Heights to increase production of the engineered plastics needed for the new EV components.

Ray Scott, Lear President and CEO, says the plant in Independence Township is slated to start production in early 2024. “As a Michigan-headquartered company, it’s important to make this investment in our backyard as we continue to grow our portfolio of products for electric vehicles,” he says.

Founded in Detroit in 1917 and headquartered in neighboring Southfield, Lear is a global automotive technology leader in seating and electrical and electronic subsystems. The company employs more than 160,000 people at 235 locations in 38 countries, including 13 facilities in Michigan.

The three Lear projects are expected to generate a total capital investment of $112.5 million and create up to 500 jobs, supported by a $4.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a 15-year, 100% State Essential Services Assessment exemption, valued at $1.9 million, in support of the project.

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