FROM: Peter H. Chapman, Executive Vice President, Business Development
When it comes to Detroit, Sakthi Automotive just can’t get enough. Today it broke ground for its third significant investment in the city in the past five years: a standalone, 60,000 sq. ft. facility directly south of its headquarters at 6401 W. Fort Street. This $7 million expansion will add 200 new jobs to its manufacturing and distribution facilities in southwest Detroit to support its expanding business with U.S. and European OEMs.
Sakthi opened its first facility in Detroit in 2014, initially with 75 employees. It expanded in 2015, adding 100 new jobs at its plant on American Way. It then opened a major manufacturing facility and an aluminum foundry in 2016 on the south side of the old Southwestern High School.
Sakthi’s experience demonstrates why companies around the world are looking to tap into Detroit’s key assets – proximity to global customers, access to high technology manufacturing research, and a strong local workforce. Once they come to Detroit, companies want to stay and grow.
At Sakthi, it’s very important to contribute to the communities in which it invests. It has committed to continue to train and hire Detroiters – including returning citizens — through its partnerships with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and Michigan’s Community Ventures program. Sakthi has recruited a significant part of its workforce of more than 500 employees through those programs, and 65 percent of those employees live in the city of Detroit.
That’s why DEGC’s work to target and attract business is so important – our economy, the city and its residents all benefit. Advanced manufacturing is one of five key business sectors we are focused on attracting and retaining. I’m confident that as other manufacturers see Sakthi’s success, they will want to come to Detroit too and the momentum will continue.