MISHAWAKA – New electric vehicles produced by California-based SF Motors could start rolling off an Indiana assembly line before year’s end.
The company announced on May 30 it plans to start trial production before the end of the year at the former AM General production plant in Mishawaka, which it purchased in November. The company is investing $160 million into the plant and expects to create up to 467 jobs by 2020, with at least 200 positions being filled before the end of this year.
SF Motors said it wants to hire back as many of the displaced AM General workers as possible. AM General, a heavy vehicle and contract automotive manufacturer, is best known for producing the rugged Hummer sport utility vehicle as well as the Humvee.
On May 30, Gov. Eric Holcomb joined executives with SF Motors as the company shared its plans for the facility.
“Indiana's reputation as a destination for business continues to be heard across the U.S. and around the world, attracting companies like SF Motors,” Holcomb said. “With a world of options, we're thrilled SF Motors chose to expand in Indiana.”
SF Motors will renovate and equip a 675,500-square foot manufacturing facility, which served as the former AM General commercial assembly plant at 12900 McKinley Highway in Mishawaka. The vacant facility will be equipped to manufacture at least two lines of its first electric vehicle models and serve as the company’s primary U.S.-based manufacturing plant.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is expected to provide SF Motors Inc. up to $3.847 million in conditional tax credits and up to $500,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans.
The state said the tax credits are performance-based, which means until people are hired by the company it is not eligible to claim incentives. The IEDC also offered up to $653,000 in conditional tax credits from the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit program, which encourages companies to invest in former industrial facilities requiring significant rehabilitation or remodeling.
St. Joseph County also is considering additional incentives.
The company said the 35-acre campus will feature advanced automation and house the company’s body and paint shop, general assembly and office administration.
“Northern Indiana has a rich history of manufacturing vehicles, a mature supplier network and a highly skilled talent pool with luxury automotive experience,” said John Zhang, founder and chief executive officer of SF Motors. “All these advantages make Mishawaka the perfect location to manufacture our intelligent connected EVs.”
Zhang said the company is, “proud to partner with Indiana to restore up to 467 jobs to the local economy. We see this partnership as the beginning of a bright and prosperous future.”
SF Motors currently employs more than 300 people across the U.S.
Founded in 2016, SF Motors is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with facilities in China and Indiana and research and development facilities in the U.S., Germany and China.