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By Samuel R. Avro on Mar 17, 2009 with no responses

Mercedes Plans Hybrid R&D Center in Michigan

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The Mercedes S 400 hybrid vehicle is scheduled to be released in the U.S. this summer.

Mercedes-Benz has been granted tax breaks which will enable them to build a $10 million hybrid technologies research-and-development center near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) approved the state tax credit Tuesday, valued at approximately $7.5 million over 10 years, in order to convince the company to move to their state over other competing states.

The facility is expected to generate 454 jobs and yield $16.2 million in tax revenue by 2019, according to state officials.

Mercedes plans to launch its first passenger car model equipped with a hybrid drive system in the summer of 2009 – the S 400 BlueHYBRID.

Experienced engineers and technicians with a weekly average wage of $1,210 are expected to be hired when the facility is launched.

“The MBH Center will employ largely experienced engineers and technicians and will utilize other available and proven local service resources for equipment, test facilities, prototype builds and personnel,” Michigan Economic Development Corp. officials wrote in internal documents.

The company is said to be seeking 65,000 square feet to establish the operation, which would be officially called the Mercedes-Benz Engineering Center for Powertrains USA. The center would be charged with developing hybrid transmissions, electric motor technology, software and power electronics.

The Ann Arbor region, about 40 miles west of Detroit, has been steadily assembling a range of companies devoted to batteries and electric vehicle technology.

Mercedes-Benz already has a local presence, an engine-testing center on the south side of Ann Arbor where about 14 people are employed.