The planned investment would be spread across three sites. The new facility near Clarkston, Mich., is the largest — an $80 million plant at 5600 Bow Pointe Drive, formerly home to a Marelli North America Inc. lighting plant which closed the plant last year, according to the company.
Michigan officials said the incentives are needed to secure the business over competing sites in Texas and Mexico, though Lear announced a month ago that the plant would be in Michigan. A specific location was not provided at the time.
The 120,000-square-foot plant will supply battery disconnect units for General Motors Co. Half of the facility will be dedicated to production while the rest will be used for warehousing, lab, testing and office space.
In tandem with the new plant, Lear said it plans to upgrade a plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. The plant, acquired by Lear last year and operating as M&N Plastics, would increase production needed for the battery assemblies being supplied to GM.
When it acquired M&N, Lear cited the ability to increase "Lear's vertical integration capabilities to engineer and produce complex parts for electrical distribution, including high-voltage wire harnesses and power electronics."
Additionally, Lear is considering an expansion of its plant in Traverse City, Mich., to manufacture EV battery pack components.
"The company's decision of whether to build out a new facility in Michigan instead of expanding operations in other locations outside of Michigan requires incentive support to ensure the new work is located in Michigan," according to the MEDC memo.
Lear, which makes most of its $19 billion annual revenue from supplying seats, is looking to grow its E-Systems segment as the auto industry adapts to EVs. It is also moving to localize some of its manufacturing footprint in response to industry demands and federal incentives for onshoring, such as the Inflation Reduction Act.
The new jobs in Michigan would pay an average wage of $20.30 plus benefits, according to the MEDC.
The state also approved a 15-year, 100 percent SESA Exemption for the Clarkston plant, waiving the SESA guideline that a project be located in an "eligible distressed area" and that it includes two investments greater than $100 million.
The state waived the requirements "due to the competitive nature of the project and the desire to capture as much investment as possible."
The local government has agreed to support the project with "staff, financial or economic assistance," according to the memo.
Lear received a MEGA tax credit abatement in 2009 and a business development grant in 2017. The MEDC said Lear has met requirements for those incentives.
To receive the new incentives, Lear must create by Oct. 31, 2026, at least 400 qualified new jobs above its base employment level, which is 3,265, according to terms of the agreement with the MEDC. The incentives work out to $9,000 per new job.