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India's Sakthi Automotive expands (again) in Detroit

Workers at Sakthi Automotive facilities in southwest Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Workers at Sakthi Automotive facilities in southwest Detroit.

An India-based auto supplier is expanding again in Detroit.

Sakthi Automotive plans a $7 million expansion of its manufacturing and distribution centers in the city. It’s the third expansion since the company came to Detroit in 2014.

The company now employs about 500 people in the city. And Sakthi has recruited about a third of its current workforce from employment programs for the formerly incarcerated.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the company now employs more than 200 formerly-incarcerated Detroiters, proving that they make good workers.

“They’re more likely to be at work on time, they’re more likely to show up every day,” Duggan said. “They do a good job because they know the barriers that are stacked against them if they lose this job are going to be that much harder.”

Duggan points to Sakthi as an “international company that’s decided to tie its future” to the city. He says his administration has made a point of developing relationships with global manufacturing companies and this is a sign that strategy is working.

“We’re working really hard at this, and I think we’ve cut a lot of the red tape,” Duggan said.  

Sakthi says the latest move should add another 200 jobs. It expects to complete the expansion by mid-2018.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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