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An interesting development has appeared in the South China Morning Post, and it involves Michigan and the announcement of a multibillion dollar research and development facility for autonomous vehicles.

Foxconn is a Taiwanese company that is behind many products you buy. They’re the actual assembler of the popular iPhone and is the largest electronics maker in the world.

Per the SCMP:

“Automotive development in the US is still more advanced than China,” said Gou, declining to divulge the investment amount for Michigan. “Besides self-driving technology, I’m also interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.”

Local officials have bent over backwards offering tax and other incentives that could lower the cost of manufacturing, according to the South China Morning Post, below that of building in China.

The incentive numbers are stunning. The recently announced Wisconsin Foxconn plant will cost the state $230,700 per worker. That’s as much as $3 billion dollars at increments of $200 million to $250 million per year for up to 15 years.

It will be interesting to see, with a $2 billion impending loss of revenue to Michigan’s budget, just how much Michigan is going to give up to get a Chinese manufacturer where the intellectual property developed here will go overseas.

For comparison, Michigan’s film incentive program that was axed by the current administration (citing that they don’t want to “favor one industry over another”) cost the state at their peak $200 million a year and according to a State Senate report, $42,991 to $186,519 per job depending on how you calculated it.

Most studios using the film credit program were based in the United States.

It’s important to note that the source publication for the Foxconn news is based in Hong Kong and is generally friendly toward the Chinese central government. Their report comes ahead of any official announcement by officials in the United States.

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