SKUBICK: Whitmer on what went wrong with Ford EV battery plant

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has conceded that Michigan had a “dysfunctional” economic development strategy, which is part of the reason Ford ignored Michigan and is moving forward with building two new car battery plants down South.

The conventional wisdom in our town is that Ford stiffed the governor and the GOP legislature, explaining the governor’s defensiveness and disappointment last September when the automaker announced two new plants down south totaling about $11 billion dollars.

The governor now, for the first time, confesses that Michigan had a lousy economic development strategy.

“We’ve not had the same kind of economic development tools that other states have,” said Whitmer. “Lansing is considered dysfunctional by some and the process frankly moves too slow.”

Whitmer also said that her administration got no details from Ford on the projects.

“I don’t believe that there was a real conversation about whether they could do the same thing here in Michigan,” said Whitmer.

79 days after this bad news, the governor signed a new bipartisan and business-endorsed package of new job incentives that she says will put Michigan back in the game.

Whitmer was very reluctant to disclose what really happened between her and Ford. Was she upset?

“I don’t want to, I don’t want to re-litigate everything that happened prior to that. We’ve had ongoing conversations and now I think Michigan is in a much stronger position to ensure that future investments will happen here,” remarked Whitmer.

One of those new investments includes a GM car battery plant outside of Lansing, along with a handful of other expansions as a result of the new economic strategy that the governor hopes is not like its predecessor.

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