TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Ford Motor Co. Executive Vice President Mark Fields and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announce the auto maker is considering investing up to $1 billion in several of its Michigan facilities.

“At 8:45 this morning, our (Michigan Economic Growth Authority) approved a 20-year deal with Ford that will facilitate their investment of $1 billion inside of Michigan to upgrade facilities and provide them the opportunity to save 13,740 Michigan jobs (at Ford),” Granholm says at the Management Briefing Seminars here.

To persuade Ford to make the investment in Michigan, Granholm says the state is offering $151 million in tax incentives over the next 20 years.

Specifically the deal calls for Ford to invest in flexible manufacturing and advanced powertrain technologies.

Should the auto maker accept the offer, 42,460 indirect Michigan jobs (outside Ford) would be saved, according to a University of Michigan economic analysis estimate.

Despite the optimistic tone surrounding the announcement, Fields says Ford “still has to make final decisions,” and if the decision were made to invest in Michigan, it most likely would result in job retention due to the sizable investment, not the addition of new jobs.

Fields says Ford will make a decision “very quickly.”

Granholm says the scheme would result in an economic windfall for the state, noting, “over the next 20 years, the agreement would generate $62 billion in personal income for those affected.”

“For Michigan, the investment would mean $4.2 billion in revenue,” Granholm says, emphasizing that $151 million in tax breaks is well worth $4.2 billion in revenue.

Granholm says discussions with Ford began when the state was trying to save the auto maker’s Wixom Assembly Plant, which since has been slated for closure.

bpope@wardsauto.com