Google self driving unit Waymo picks Detroit factory site
A Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo's suite of sensors and radar is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, on Jan. 8, 2017. (Paul Sancya / AP)
Google's self-driving car spinoff Waymo says it will reopen an axle plant in Detroit to convert conventional vehicles so they can drive autonomously.
The company says it will lease a now-closed American Axle & Manufacturing plant north of downtown so it can convert the vehicles, mostly Chrysler Pacifica minivans made in Windsor.
Last year, Waymo announced it is purchasing 62,000 Pacificas from Chrysler to add to its self-driving fleet.
Waymo plans to spend around $13.6 million and create up to 400 jobs at the site, which is expected to open in the middle of the year.
Waymo announced on June 1, 2018, it is purchasing 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans made in Windsor.
The company will get an incentive grant from the state of Michigan worth up to $8 million.
Waymo announced plans for the factory in January. The company said it wanted a facility in southeast Michigan due to the strong pool of automotive talent in the area.
The axle plant closed in 2012.