DETROIT – Taking time to savor a little good news for their recession-battered states, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm jointly help AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc. announce new investments in their respective states at the SAE World Congress here.

AVL says its new energy-management and systems-integration facility in the Los Angeles area now is in operation and showcases capabilities not currently offered at any other North American center of its kind.

The company also says it is expanding its Ann Arbor Technical Center in Michigan to include battery, hybrid, electric and alternative-fuels development. AVL will invest $2.6 million and hire 40 more people for the expansion, supported with pending state and local incentives.

This pleases Granholm, who says she is happy to see new investment and high-tech “green” jobs being added to Michigan’s struggling economy.

The new West Coast operation, dubbed the AVL California Technology Center, offers an array of simulation and testing technologies for auto makers, suppliers, fuel providers and government agencies.

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The facility only is adding about 40 jobs, but they are in highly desirable engineering- and technology-related fields.

“We’re interested in putting a spotlight on companies that are creating jobs right now,” Schwarzenegger says, pointing out California’s unemployment rate is 11.2%.

“I’m excited that this is happening in California, and I’m also excited this is coming out of Graz, Austria, the city I was born in,” Schwarzenegger says. AVL LIST GmbH, AVL’s parent company, is based in Graz.

“Offering advanced battery testing and development facilities in both Michigan and California allows us strategic involvement in the two most important and influential states for automotive innovation,” says Ray Corbin, president, AVL Powertrain Engineering.

AVL claims to be the world’s largest independent company for the development of gasoline, diesel and alternative-fuels powertrain systems, as well as fuel-cell and hybrid technologies.

dwinter@wardsauto.com