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DEGC welcomes Waymo to Detroit

Apr 25, 2019

From David White, Director of National/Regional Business Attraction

Earlier this year, Waymo unveiled its plans to expand into Michigan with a new manufacturing plant to assemble self-driving vehicles, creating hundreds of jobs for the region. Yesterday, Waymo announced it has selected Detroit to be the home for that plant. In addition to the growing prosperity and opportunity in the city, Waymo chose Detroit for its:

– Access to the right talent to facilitate the company’s long-term growth
– Proximity to key industry partners – both tech and auto-related
– Essentially “move-in ready” facility
– Strong partnerships with the Mayor’s Office, DEGC and MEDC
– Opportunity to participate in Detroit’s upward trajectory

Waymo began in 2009 as Google’s self-driving car project. Today, Waymo develops and integrates self-driving technology working as a seamless, single system. Its mission: give people the freedom to get around and save thousands of lives lost to traffic crashes.

In partnership with American Axle & Manufacturing, Waymo will repurpose an existing facility – bringing jobs back to an area of the city that has historically seen plants idled or shuttered. The company is expected to create between 100 and 400 jobs – from engineers, mechanics, technicians, and assemblers, as well as customer support and in-direct labor. Its new plant will integrate Waymo’s self-driving technology into a fleet of vehicles from manufacturers such as Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover.

“Waymo’s selection of Detroit for its self-driving vehicle manufacturing facility confirms our city’s status as the global leader for innovative mobility solutions,” said Kevin Johnson, DEGC president and CEO. “Through this historic announcement, Detroit becomes home to the world’s first factory dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles.”

The DEGC was deeply involved in bringing Waymo to Detroit. In addition to serving as Waymo’s point of contact with the City, the DEGC aided with:

– Information about financing tools to support Waymo’s long-term growth in Detroit
– Regional workforce data validating that Detroit can meet Waymo’s talent needs
– Real estate options
– Commitments to road infrastructure upgrades around the plant

DEGC congratulates the Waymo team and welcomes the company to Detroit’s dynamic tech hub leading the world in mobility innovation. Beyond offering transportation solutions, hi-tech companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, MyLocker and Tata Technologies are driving the future of a diverse array of industries including financial services, food, logistics and even apparel in Detroit. Waymo is adding to the increasing number of companies locating outside of greater downtown, bringing needed jobs closer to residents throughout Detroit and new opportunities to local communities.

DEGC looks forward to facilitating Waymo’s long-term growth in Detroit and adding a new chapter to the compelling story of mobility innovation that we’re sharing with the world.

Learn more about Waymo at

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