Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb was in Mishawaka today at the new SF Motors plant.
SF Motors is a Chinese company that makes electric vehicles. It's headquartered in Santa Clara, California, but will be building cars for the U.S. market in the Mishawaka plant it calls EVAP (Electric Vehicle Assembly Plant).
SF Motors is currently in the process of updated the former AM General Plant in Mishawaka that used to make the Hummer and Mercedes-Benz.
The plant is scheduled to start rolling out new vehicles by the end of the year. The company has pledged to hire 467 workers and spend $160 million on the facility.
Governor Holcomb said they’re glad SF Motors came to Indiana.
“We fully understood that there were a lot of options for SF Motors, but they chose, and we think they chose wisely. And we’re going to make sure they’re proud of that decision for the years to come.”
SF Motors CEO John Zhang said they’re looking forward to producing cars in Mishawaka.
“Today the world is entering a new era to meet that demand of this innovative generation we have given this plant a new mission to produce premium, intelligent electric vehicles for our customers.”
For plant manager Todd Leahy bringing something new into the Mishawaka plant is familiar.
"We're all very excited. This plant has a long history of launching three different products out of this facility. So we're well versed in launching new products and building quality products here."
Right now about 80 workers are re-tooling the plant so electric vehicles can be made there. Most of them are former AM General employees. SF Motors has plans to re-hire more of the workers who were laid off when AM General's contract with Mercedes-Benz ended last June.
There is a training sceme to teach the workers how to make the electric vehicles.
"We're really excited to be on the ground floor of this opportunity and take place in this start-up venture," Leahy said.
SF Motors received about $5 million in tax incentives for the plant contingent on hiring, wages and investments.