House Republican Leader Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, on Tuesday issued the following statement after Ford Motor Co. announced it will be scaling back the BlueOval electric vehicle battery plant the company plans to build in Marshall, planning only 1,700 new jobs instead of the 2,500 the company originally promised when the project was awarded $1.8 billion in state incentives:
“The bad deal the governor and Democrats negotiated for Michigan taxpayers just got a whole lot worse. Even with Democrats’ premature push for electric vehicles and $1.8 billion in state incentives, Ford is cutting back the project and slashing job creation because most people just won’t buy unaffordable, inconvenient EVs. Gov. Whitmer was desperate to land a Ford plant after losing out to more economically competitive states, so she rammed through an expensive deal to get a handful of low-wage jobs. This deal was a disaster from the start, and now Ford is cutting job plans by 32%. If the original proposal misrepresented Ford’s plans, the hundreds of millions of dollars tied to job creation should be revoked under the contract. The governor must right-size state funding and ensure taxpayers aren’t left on the hook for her failure.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded Ford and its partners $1.8 billion in state incentives for the Marshall plant earlier this year. The $210 million awarded to Ford from the Critical Industry Program could be canceled if the proposal contained any material misrepresentation, and claw-back provisions could reduce the CIP funds in any case due to the job reduction.
Ford announced the prospective job cuts Tuesday after a months-long pause on the project. The company said it was “right-sizing” the plant given lower-than-expected market demand for electric vehicles.
The project already provided a poor return on investment, doling out more than $700,000 per job. If incentives aren’t scaled back, the reduced job plans would now leave taxpayers with an even lower return on investment — giving more than $1 million in incentives for each job created.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”