Via Motors, chaired by Bob Lutz, plans HQ move to Michigan

Electric vehicle manufacturer Via Motors is looking to pull up its Utah roots for a new headquarters in suburban Detroit, where it would invest $12.4 million and create 300 jobs.

The company — whose chairman is longtime General Motors executive Bob Lutz — is planning to open a 100,000-square-foot office and R&D tech center with the help of a $2.5 million performance-based grant from the state, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which approved the incentive Tuesday.

The jobs would pay an average wage of $2,458 per week plus benefits.

Incentives were necessary to sway the company toward a new administrative base in metro Detroit, according to the MEDC. The company is also considering expanding within its current Utah footprint or in California.

“The Company is attracted to locating this facility in Michigan because of the State’s robust supply chain for electric vehicles and mobility,” according to an MEDC briefing memo. “Even though the Company would like to locate in Michigan, incentive assistance is necessary to ensure this project moves forward in Michigan.”

Via Motors started out converting General Motors vehicles into plug-in hybrids before manufacturing fully electric commercial vehicles. The company builds plug-in trucks and vans under the Vtrux brand, with customers including FedEx Corp. and Verizon Communications.

The company is in the process of being acquired by New York-based Ideanomics, whose founder and executive chairman is Shane McMahon, son of retired professional wrestler and former WWE CEO Vince McMahon.

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