Oakland County’s January 2017 Business Investment Tops $114M, Highest Since 2004
Posted to theoaklandpress.com February 22, 2017
By Mark Cavitt
Oakland County’s foreign and domestic business investment is booming, community leaders are reporting. In January alone, the county topped $114 million in investment, seeing 15 companies — nine of which are foreign-based — either expand or relocate to the county.
Steve Huber, marketing and communications officer for Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs, said January marked one of the most successful months since the county began monthly tracking of economic activity in 2004.
County Executive L. Brooks Patterson noted Oakland has a skilled and trained workforce, “and those skills are easily transferrable from one industry to the next, which makes us an attractive destination for companies.
“We also have clusters of businesses. Economists call it ‘cumulative causation.’ Businesses are attracted here as others succeed.”
Irene Spanos, director of Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs, said last year’s total was $180 million among 96 companies.
“Having over $100 million in January alone is amazing,” said Spanos.
“The diversity of the companies both in terms of geographical and industry diversification is something that is even more encouraging. “We are working on over 150 prospects now. These are companies that are interested in expanding into Oakland County.”
Magneti Marelli Holdings, an Italian-based auto supplier, led the way for all county business investments in January. At its plant in Independence Township, the company is expanding its automotive lighting production capacity with a $35 million project.
“This investment enables a more powerful production platform for the lighting business supporting in the best way possible our local customers in the Michigan region,” said Pietro Gorlier, CEO of Magneti Marelli in a statement. “It reaffirms our commitment and trust in the Michigan industrial and economic system.”
The expansion is expected to create more than 360 jobs over five years.
Other traditional business expansions totaling more than $70 million included:
• SW North America in Lyon Township with $10 million
• Lucerne International in Auburn Hills with $3 million
• Spot Shooter Archery in Holly, $30,000 investment
• Molex North America in Rochester Hills, $22 million in investment
These five traditional business expansions in total created 528 jobs and helped retain 397, Spanos said.
Emerging Sector company growth
Emerging Sectors is a county initiative, created in 2004, that’s related to business attraction and retention strategies to offset the loss of manufacturing jobs.
In January, 10 businesses either expanded into or moved operations to Oakland County. The 10 companies are investing more than $44 million, creating 1,205 new jobs and retaining 1,129 jobs.
Emerging Sectors industry categories are:
• Advanced Electronics and Power Generation
• Advanced Materials
• Communications and Information Technology
• Homeland Security
• Medical Main Street
• Robotics and Automation
Emerging Sector successes in January were
• Power and automation technology company ABB Inc. getting $9.1 million in investment in Auburn Hills
• Yanfeng Global Automotive Interior Systems Co. Ltd., $8.4 million investment, Novi
• Maddog Technologies/Lenderful, $1.7 million investment, Pontiac
• Valeo North America Inc. with a $5 million investment in Auburn Hills and Troy