DETROIT — Chinese news outlets are reporting that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn will build a research and development center in Michigan.
The company, which builds display panels for televisions and cellphones, announced 10 days ago that it would invest $10 billion in a manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin, with the assistance of up to $3 billion in incentives from the state.
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou plans a Michigan R&D center because of its proximity to the automobile industry, the China Daily reported.
“I can’t say it is a sure thing, but we are indeed in discussion with several other states and the details will be announced soon,” Gou said, according to China Daily.
Gov. Rick Snyder met Saturday with Gou during his trade mission to China.
“We had a very productive dialogue about the importance of talent in manufacturing and the future of autonomous driving in addition to a tour of Foxconn’s world-class products and manufacturing facility,” Snyder said in a statement released Monday morning. “Michigan is where innovation happens. We are leading in mobility and the transformation of manufacturing, and the rest of the world is clearly taking note. I believe we have a strong future with Foxconn, and while I don’t have an announcement to make today, I think there are very exciting things to come in the future.”
Foxconn officials have visited Michigan at least three times and have looked at sites in Romulus, a southwestern Detroit suburb, and Lyon Township, an exurb on the metro area’s western edge.
Two weeks ago Snyder signed a package of bills that would provide significant tax incentives for companies like Foxconn. The lure of the huge investment from the foreign manufacturer was one of the primary selling points for the Legislature to approve the bills last month.
The bills would:
- Allow businesses that expand or relocate to Michigan to receive up to a 10-year, 100 percent abatement on the personal income-tax withholdings of new employees if at least 250 new jobs are brought to the state, at wage rates that are at least 125 percent above the average for the region.
- Make the incentive a five-year, 50 percent abatement on those withholdings for companies that bring in at least 500 jobs that pay the average wage for the region.
- Allow companies that bring up to 3,000 jobs to the state at average wages in the region to qualify for the 100% incentive for up to 10 years.
- Require that eligible companies make a good-faith effort to hire Michiganders for the new jobs in the state.
- Prohibit eligible companies from using jobs obtained through a merger or acquisition of another company as a qualifier for the incentive.
- End incentives in 2019 and lower the maximum amount of tax incentives at any one time to $200 million.
Foxconn’s announcement about the investment in Wisconsin came on the same day that Snyder signed the bills. In Wisconsin, the $10 billion Foxconn investment comes at a big price. Wisconsin is kicking in $3 billion in tax incentives for the company.
Foxconn chose Wisconsin over a number of other states offering the company a larger incentive package, Gov. Scott Walker said last week.
Officials have said the plant in Wisconsin is expected to create 3,000 manufacturing jobs, 23,000 indirect jobs and 10,000 construction jobs to build the sprawling Foxconn campus in Kenosha or Racine counties. The full-time workforce could grow to 13,000, with an annual payroll of some $800 million, state officials have said.
State Journal staff contributed to this report.