Waymo, Google's self-driving car company, to use American Axle Detroit plant

Waymo, the Google-owned self-driving car company, is repurposing a factory in Detroit to build a new facility for the creation of autonomous vehicles.

Waymo announced they picked the Motor City as the location to build these cars and will repurpose an existing facility in Detroit. The company says this is the world's first factory 100 percent dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles. 

"You have essentially vacant facility space where they make axles and will now be the location of an assembly of self driving Pacificas and Jaguars," Mayor Mike Duggan said.  "You're going to have quality engineers, you are going to have basic laborers. They are saying 100 to 400 jobs and they are already working on the space."

"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," Waymo said in a post on Medium.

In January, Waymo said it was planning to bring a factory to Southeast Michigan but the exact city was not known. The state said then that the  $13.6 million project will create 100 new jobs and potentially 300 more later. The company had been looking for up to 200,000 square feet (18,580 square meters) of "ready-to-go" space in a manufacturing facility in the Detroit area, specifically in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties.

The company thanked Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Former Governor Rick Snyder, 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."

Duggan said Waymo's commitment shows the city is still important as the automotive industry continues to evolve.

"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 percent dedicated Level 4 autonomous vehicle factory anywhere. We deeply appreciate the confidence John Krafcik and the Waymo team are showing in the Motor City," Duggan said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.