SF Motors to Acquire Commercial Automotive Assembly Plant, Preserving 430 American Auto Worker Jobs
SF Motors, a Subsidiary of Sokon Industry Group, to Produce Environmentally-Friendly, Intelligent Electric Vehicles at AM General Commercial Assembly Plant and Expects to Extend Job Offers to All Current Employees and Managers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. and MISHAWAKA, Ind., June 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SF Motors, an electric vehicle (EV) clean mobility brand based out of Silicon Valley, and AM General today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which SF Motors, a subsidiary of Sokon Industry Group, will acquire AM General's commercial assembly plant ("CAP"). The transaction, which includes the acquisition of the land, plant, and certain auto manufacturing equipment exclusively associated with the CAP, does not impact AM General's separate military assembly plant ("MAP") or military-related business, which is AM General's core business. The two plants have always operated independently, and following the close of the transaction, they will be totally separate and independent companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, SF Motors expects to retain, after a period of retooling, all of the current CAP employees, preserving approximately 430 American auto worker jobs, which would have otherwise been lost when the CAP's sole remaining customer contract expires later this year and would have resulted in a line shutdown. These employees are nearly all represented by UAW Local 5, which is the oldest continuously operating UAW Local in the country. Sokon Industry Group has also committed to enhancing the economies of the broader South Bend region and state of Indiana, including making approximately $30 million in key upgrades to the CAP.
Sokon Industry Group (stock code:601127), a publicly-traded company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange that is principally engaged in the research and development, manufacturing and sales of automobiles, engines, and accessories, recently established a U.S.-based headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley as the first step in launching a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) clean mobility brand on the West Coast, known as SF Motors. The company has also established a research and development (R&D) facility outside Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sokon's primary business is comprised of automobile manufacturing, engine manufacturing, and auto parts manufacturing. SF Motors will use the CAP facility to produce intelligent electric vehicles and expects to source subassemblies, parts, and materials for its new operations at the facility predominantly from U.S. sources, which would support U.S. supply chain jobs.
John Zhang, CEO of SF Motors, said, "This transaction represents a unique opportunity to grow our intelligent electric vehicle business through the addition of an existing production facility and a skilled work force. We are excited to work closely with our new Indiana-based team to produce SF Motors' next-generation electric vehicle in South Bend, Indiana, and we look forward to becoming a part of the local community and a strong contributor to Indiana's economic growth."
"We are confident that SF Motors is the right long-term owner to support the CAP, as well as the South Bend community and the State of Indiana," said AM General President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hove. "This transaction puts the CAP on solid ground to keep the assembly lines running, providing our tremendously talented and dedicated employees new opportunities as part of SF Motors and its plans to produce next-generation electric vehicles. South Bend has been AM General's home for nearly 30 years, and following the sale of the CAP, we will maintain our deep ties to the region as we continue to operate our military business, which is profitable, strong, and growing."
The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of U.S. and Chinese regulatory approvals.
About SF Motors Headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA and dedicated to creating intelligent electric vehicles, SF Motors is funded by the Chinese automaker and supplier Chongqing Sokon Industry Group. The company is establishing R&D facilities, and is in process of designing and producing a US-based, clean electric vehicle. The company most recently has established a powertrain and intelligent technical R&D center in Silicon Valley, as well as an engineering R&D facility outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. More information about SF Motors is available at www.sfmotors.com.
About AM General AM General designs, engineers, manufactures, supplies, and supports specialized vehicles for customers worldwide. AM General has more than five decades of experience meeting the changing needs of the defense and automotive industries, supported by its employees at major facilities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and a strong supplier base that stretches across 43 states. Please see more information about AM General at www.amgeneral.com.