Bill Ford – Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company – has managed to attract a new, $95 million investment to Detroit from supplier Flex-N-Gate Inc. The plant will be erected in a bare brownfield lot within city limits, and when operational, will employ an estimated 650 workers.
The most interesting thing about this investment is neither the location nor the size of the investment, but how Bill Ford persuaded Flex-N-Gate owner Shahid Khan to build the company’s next manufacturing facility in Detroit, Michigan: according to Automotive News, Ford simply asked him to consider it.
Bill Ford reportedly told Mr. Khan that he “wants some real development, [to] create some jobs…” says Khan. “Ford Motor Co. is not a charitable institution. Let’s not confuse that. They want to do the right thing for their shareholders and stakeholders. But it’s like, you could do it and still serve everybody and create good jobs and economic progress in the process.”
Flex-N-Gate is No. 46 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 100 global suppliers, taking in $5.1 billion in OE parts sales in 2014.