Electric Vehicle Maker Breathes New Life Into Prominent Plant

Posted: Updated:
SF Motors unveiled concept vehicles in May during an event in California. SF Motors unveiled concept vehicles in May during an event in California.
MISHAWAKA -

St. Joseph County is giving a nod to its past while looking to a greener future, thanks to May's major announcement from SF Motors.

The California-based global intelligent electric vehicle company has detailed plans to invest more than $160 million to bring manufacturing operations to the former AM General plant in Mishawaka and create up to 467 jobs by 2020.

The more than 675,000 square-foot facility will serve as the company's primary U.S.-based manufacturing plant. SF Motors acquired the plant in November and is equipping it to produce at least two lines of its first electric vehicle models. The company hopes to begin trial production before the end of the year.

SF Motors founder and Chief Executive Officer John Zhang says the significant investment will allow it to revitalize and retool the plant, “future-proofing” it for years to come.

The EV maker already employs more than 300 associates throughout the United States, and hopes to have about 200 workers at the Mishawaka facility by the end of this year. The company will be able to tap into a ready-made workforce, with plans to hire many of the displaced workers from the former AM General plant. Zhang says the investment will also fund extensive technical training for its Mishawaka employees, “further advancing an already high-skilled workforce.”

Governor Eric Holcomb says SF Motors chose Indiana from “a world of options.” One of the reasons for that, Zhang says, is the state’s traditional stronghold in the auto sector.

“Indiana also has one of the most vibrant and nurturing automotive ecosystems in the world,” said Zhang during the May announcement. “The regional access to a mature automotive supply chain was another significant draw for selecting Mishawaka, and we look forward to working closely with local suppliers.”

The continuation of the state’s auto heritage was also not lost on St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Koscielny, who also spoke at the announcement.

“Not since the glory days of Studebaker has this area been on the cutting edge of automobile technology the way we are today,” he said. “One of the very first cars (Studebaker) developed was electric in nature.”

The state is buying into the potential of electric vehicle manufacturing in Mishawaka. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering SF Motors more than $4 million in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Governor Holcomb says he’s thrilled the Silicon Valley-based company chose Indiana to produce "21st-century solutions with the help of our talented Hoosier workforce."

Building on Indiana and Elkhart County’s strong automotive history, SF Motors believes the future of the sector is green.

“We are proud to partner with Indiana,” says Zhang. “We see this partnership as the beginning of a bright and prosperous future.”

SF Motors founder and Chief Executive Officer John Zhang outlines the company's hiring plans.
St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Koscielny says the county is a perfect landing spot for SF Motors.
  • Perspectives

    • Can You Fulfill Your Quest?

      All of us have dragons to slay. At work or at home, in personal or professional relationships, each of us is on a Quest to find the treasure or save the prince/princess. Or perhaps, our goal is more prosaic: getting that promotion, standing up to that bully, or finishing that big project. In his book The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker lists seven story forms which story tellers employ over and over. Each is plot is linked to a fundamental metaphysical Question that we...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • High Schools Launch Manufacturing Businesses

      Two student-run manufacturing businesses have launched in southern Indiana. The companies, Eagle Manufacturing at Brown County High School in Nashville and Lion Manufacturing at Loogootee High School in Martin County, are designed to give students hands-on, real world experience. The businesses were funded with grants from Bloomington-based nonprofit Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, ROI Chief Executive Officer...

    • Hoosier Companies Among 'Most Admired'

      Two Indiana companies are included in Fortune's 2019 list of the "World's Most Admired Companies." The list was determined by a survey of nearly 4,000 executives, directors and analysts who rated companies in their own industries based on criteria such as investment value, quality of management and ability to attract talent.

    • Buttigieg Launches Presidential Exploratory Committee

      South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has announced he has launched a presidential exploratory committee. The Democrat, who is in his eighth and final year as mayor, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and ran in 2017 for Democratic National Committee chair. Buttigieg was elected mayor in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. In December, he announced he would not seek a third term. At the time, he would not comment on a possible presidential bid, but said he would continue working...
    • Hill Reaches $120M Settlement

       Attorney General Curtis Hill has announced a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and DePuy to resolve allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet. Under the settlement, Indiana will receive $3.5 million.

    • Talent Incubator to Open in Anderson

      Muncie-based Ontario Systems will Wednesday open a new tech training center at Anderson University. The incubator, that will be known as "The Cube," will provide students with real-life, hands-on software engineering projects.