Lear Corporation to Build at Buick City
Investment is a huge economic development win for Flint
Lear Corporation, a Fortune 500 auto supplier, will build a world-class, 150,000-square-foot automotive seat manufacturing operation on a portion of RACER Trust's Buick City property in Flint. The company expects to employ 435 people once the project is complete.
“RACER Trust is pleased by Lear Corporation’s decision to make such a significant investment in Flint, and by the prospect that new economic opportunities and benefits will arise from a portion of the former Buick City property,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “These are the types of investments that lift communities and spur even more investment and growth. We congratulate and thank Lear Corporation, as well as the City of Flint, the Flint & Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their hard work and partnership in helping capture this opportunity. We will continue our diligent work to attract buyers to maximize the redevelopment potential of our former industrial properties in and around Flint.”
Lear Corporation will be the second significant investor in the Buick City property. American Spiralweld Pipe Company built a plant to supply the pipe for water infrastructure projects in the region.
The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $4.35-million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support Lear’s $29.3-million capital investment at the site, which includes the subassembly and final assembly of automotive seats.
“We are proud to be growing in our home state and keeping manufacturing jobs in America,” said Ray Scott, Lear executive vice president and president of Seating Operations. “This expansion of capacity reflects the positive outlook we have for our business, and will contribute to the revitalization of Flint, Michigan.”
The City of Flint offered a tax abatement to reduce the overall project.
Lear aims to begin construction at the site in the fall with operations starting next spring, which will mark the return of auto manufacturing to Buick City for the first time since 1999.
“We are proud to partner with Lear on this exciting new project,” said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. “This project will provide hundreds of hard-working Flint residents an opportunity to obtain good paying jobs within the city limits. We are happy to welcome another new company to Flint, and look forward to the boost it will give our local economy. It’s been a long time coming.”
Building at the iconic former Buick City site is a major boost to the city’s economic prospects.
“Lear’s presence here will continue the rich automotive history that’s been a part of our region for decades,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber looks forward to working with Lear and providing the support that the company needs to be successful in Flint.”