ZF cuts investment in NA headquarters; Mich. trims incentives

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ZF North America Inc.’s plan to expand its Northville, Mich., headquarters is turning out to be a much less ambitious one.

The company is reducing its planned investment to $48 million through 2021 from an original $71.2 million plan proposed in 2015.

ZF North America, a subsidiary of Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG, has restructured since the original plan was outlined and decided the larger expansion was no longer needed to accommodate a growing headcount, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said in a memo.

The company intended to expand the Northville site by nearly 210,000 square feet to boost r&d on new transmission, steering, axle and chassis components.

Instead, the supplier reconfigured existing office space to accommodate additional employees, the memo said.

Consequently, the Michigan Strategic Fund is reducing its grant of $4 million for the creation of 571 new jobs as part of the project to $2 million for the creation of 300 new jobs. The amended grant was approved Tuesday by the MSF.

As of October, ZF had created 208 qualifying jobs as part of the expansion, the MEDC said in a memo.

The supplier did not seek a property tax abatement from Northville Township due to the downsized expansion.

In May 2015, ZF closed on a $12.4 billion purchase of supplier TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. The company has since moved its North American headquarters to TRW’s former headquarters in Livonia, Mich.


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