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Mich. economic development chief: State didn’t ‘actively’ bid for new Ford plants

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Ford announced Monday that it plans to invest $7 billion and create nearly 11,000 jobs to build electric vehicles and batteries on two sites in Tennessee and Kentucky.

A 3,600-acre “mega campus” manufacturing site northeast of Memphis called Blue Oval City will be Ford’s first new vehicle assembly plant in more than half a century.

The mega campus manufacturing site, slated to begin assembling next-generation electric F-Series pickups by 2025, will be roughly three times the size of Ford’s century-old Rouge Complex in Dearborn, according to the automaker.

Ford CEO Jim Farley told The Detroit News that the automaker considered sites in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to build the new plants.

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The Kentucky Legislature approved earlier this month a $410 million economic development package to lure projects topping $2 billion, the Associated Press reported. The $5.8 billion Ford project will likely be the recipient of some of those funds, but it is unclear how much. The state of Tennessee will support Ford’s $5.6 billion investment planned for the Memphis area with $500 million in incentives, according to a report from the Johnson City Press.

Messer praised Ford’s new investment in producing all-electric, battery-powered vehicles in other states.

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“Anytime a company that was birthed in your state can again demonstrate leadership globally in electrification, you celebrate,” Messer said. “Sure, we would love to have all of Ford’s investments in Michigan, but this is only one announcement. Ford remains a vital part of the Michigan business community.”

Messer said there will “continue to be tremendous activities with Ford right here in Michigan.”

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