AUBURN HILLS, MI—Flint, MI, and Greensboro, NC, are among the cities in contention to land Mahindra Automotive North America’s second U.S. assembly plant.
The India-based automaker has signed a letter of intent with RACER Trust to evaluate the former Buick City site in Flint. The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust was created in March 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to clean up and position for redevelopment properties owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.
Mahindra’s current assembly plant in Auburn Hills is at capacity, and a significant facility expansion is envisioned to support manufacturing of new products for the U.S. market.
The plant would include production of mail delivery trucks if Mahindra is awarded the contract to produce the U.S. Postal Service’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicle. Mahindra is one of five companies contending for the contract, which is expected to be announced later this year. The plant would also house production for a number of future products that have not been announced publicly. It is projected the plant will create up to 2,000 jobs over the first five years with additional jobs to follow.
“Winning the USPS contract is a key element of our growth strategy, but it’s only a piece of what we have planned,” says Rick Haas, president and CEO of Mahindra Automotive North America. “We have a long-term product plan, and we believe the former Buick City site in Flint is a strong contender for what would essentially be Mahindra's first large-scale manufacturing operation in the United States.”
Mahindra began producing the ROXOR off-road vehicle in 2018 at its Auburn Hills facility, which also serves as the company’s North American corporate headquarters.
“While we’re keeping our options open, we think the former Buick City site in Flint would be a great fit for us,” says Haas. “It’s close to our current facility, which improves overall enterprise efficiency, and the site is one of the oldest manufacturing sites in the United States with a long, storied automotive history.”
However, Flint is not the only city vying for the plant. Mahindra is also looking at sites in South Carolina, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina, including a site in Greensboro, NC, that was once considered for a Toyota-Mazda joint-venture factory. The decision about where to build the plant will be driven in part by financial incentives offered by each state.