Toyota North America has announced it is expanding its facility in York Township, Michigan, a project that is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $47.7 million. Governor Gretchen Whitmer was joined for the announcement at Toyota’s North American Research and Development Headquarters in Saline with Toyota executives, education leaders, and members of Team Michigan including Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Toyota North America is planning to add a battery testing facility for battery cell, module, and pack testing capability at this R&D headquarters campus in Saline/York Township. The capital investment is estimated at $28.8 million in new construction and $18.9 million in machinery and equipment. The company estimates that approximately 30 existing full-time employees, including engineers and technicians, will be retrained to support the transition from ICE to EV as a result.
“We’re thrilled to bring home this $47 million investment from Toyota, further underscoring our leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and building on our efforts to position Michigan as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification,” said Governor Whitmer. “We thank Toyota for their longstanding commitment to Michigan and look forward to continuing to work together as they develop their future global strategy right here in Michigan. As we continue investing in our people, developing attractive places and winning impactful projects, we’ll send a message to businesses of all sizes around the globe that they can make their future here in Michigan.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund is supporting this expansion with a Michigan Business Development Program grant of $500,000 and the MEDC has approved a 12-year State Education Tax Abatement valued at $1.09 million. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in North Carolina due to the company’s existing relationships with suppliers and customers, Michigan’s leadership in automotive manufacturing and future mobility, and the state’s talented workforce. York Township and Ann Arbor SPARK are supportive of the project.
Toyota celebrated 50 years in Michigan in 2022 and, to date, has invested approximately $1.5 billion in the state. The company has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor Charter Township, York Township, Plymouth, and Livonia and currently employs more than 2,000 Michiganders.
Toyota Supports STEM
Also at the announcement, Toyota North America shared that it is planning to launch a new “Driving Possibilities” STEM initiative, a community engagement program focused on preparing youth for the careers of tomorrow. Michigan is the first state Toyota has chosen to kick off this initiative aligning with the company’s active participation in Michigan’s Talent Action Team and its close collaboration with the MiSTEM Network to create PK12 opportunities throughout the state.
“Toyota is a leader in new technologies and finding unique pathways to connect with STEM talent. This new research & development investment is an important part of our region’s expertise in growing new mobility technologies,” said Paul Krutko, President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “Ann Arbor SPARK is pleased to partner with Toyota as they grow in York Township.”
The “Driving Possibilities” initiative is a 14-state community engagement initiative focused on preparing youth for careers through innovative learning opportunities enhancing K-12 outcomes. Toyota’s launch of the initiative in Michigan includes the creation of a STEM institute at Eastern Michigan University for Ypsilanti and Lincoln Consolidated school districts. Partners in this also include Washtenaw Community College and Washtenaw Intermediate School District. Building on the districts’ commitments to STEM education and ensuring student success, the team will develop an integrated K-12 STEM model. Toyota is committed to supporting the project for five years and will evaluate support as the program progresses.
“This is an exciting investment by Toyota to create a STEM institute and STEM-related career opportunities for Michigan students,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Connecting business, K-12, higher education, parents, and the community is an ideal way to support students with vibrant career awareness, exploration, and development programs. We all have a stake in the future of Michigan and in current and future jobs for Michiganders.”
Toyota’s new focus on STEM career opportunities for K-12 students complements the state’s ongoing work through its Talent Action Team to pilot unprecedented recruitment effort in a public-private partnership with public universities, community colleges and 15 major Michigan employers, including Toyota. This includes the launch of The Michigander EV Scholars program, featuring up to $10,000 scholarships to as many as 350 top tech students at participating universities who sign a letter of employment with an approved company and commit to staying for 12 months in Michigan.
“Critical investments in STEM education allow us to increase access to real-world science, technology, engineering and math education our students need to prepare and excel in the high-demand, high-tech careers on the horizon,” said Megan Schrauben, MiSTEM Network executive director. “We applaud Toyota for their investment and partnership with the state of Michigan’s Talent Action Team and the MiSTEM Network that will connect employers with skilled talent to fill in-demand STEM jobs.”
Since its creation in 2017, the MiSTEM Advisory Council has provided $3.05 million annually in state grants to support PK-12 STEM partnerships that develop programming to increase student engagement and achievement, as well as new programs to expand access to work-related experiences and professional training.