In January, we announced that we would open the world’s first factory 100 percent-dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles.
We wanted this facility to benefit from a location in southeast Michigan — the heart of the American automotive industry — and its strong talent base. We began looking for a facility that would allow us to quickly get up and running by mid-2019 while offering us the flexibility to continue to grow and expand our operations in Michigan over time and where there was a strong pool of talent across engineering, operations, and fleet coordination.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found the perfect facility in Detroit. We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost.
We extend our sincerest thanks to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Former Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for their partnership and support.
“By choosing to establish its new facility in Detroit, Waymo is continuing the city’s momentum and further cementing Michigan as a leader in mobility and the epicenter of advanced automotive manufacturing,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “More and more Silicon Valley companies are looking to grow in Michigan as they realize the competitive advantages Michigan has to offer: high-tech engineering resources, top-notch research and design, and a highly skilled workforce matched with a low cost of living and low cost of doing business. We are pleased to welcome Waymo to Detroit and look forward to working with the company as it moves forward and brings jobs to Michigan residents.”
Mayor Mike Duggan shared: “Today’s announcement by Waymo shows that the City of Detroit remains at the center of the future of the auto industry. Waymo could have located the world’s first 100% dedicated Level 4 autonomous vehicle factory anywhere. We deeply appreciate the confidence John Krafcik and the Waymo team are showing in the Motor City.”
Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert — a key player in downtown Detroit revivial — said in a statement:
“It makes perfect sense that Waymo would choose Detroit, the birthplace of the automotive revolution, to merge new autonomous technology with renowned manufacturing expertise. This move is a huge win for the city, its residents and the region as a whole.
“More and more entrepreneurs and startups are choosing to relocate to the city, and Waymo’s newest expansion only helps to affirm Detroit’s position as the startup hub of the Midwest – making our city synonymous with high-tech innovation.
“We were glad we could play a part in helping Waymo to choose Detroit. There is no better place than the intersection of muscles and brains for an exciting car tech company of the future to put down roots. We welcome Waymo and its hundreds of new hires to our growing city, and look forward to seeing its fleet of self-driving vehicles hit our Michigan roads.
“Additionally, thanks to our wonderful neighbors at American Axle & Manufacturing and Bedrock for helping Waymo find the perfect home in Motor City. We’re thrilled to join Detroit’s vibrant community, helping to play a role in the future of the automotive industry in the city that started it all.”