Android has downsized its workforce in recent years. This partnership has the potential to reverse that trend.
Inside the Android Industries plant in Flint, there was plenty to applaud. "It's good news for any area, but especially for Flint," Henkel V.P. Charles Evans said.
Android, Madison Heights-based Henkel and The Vehicle Production Group from Florida today announced their partnership to build the MV-1. VPG says it's the world's first and only wheelchair-accessible mobility vehicle available directly from the manufacturer.
It will be coated with Henkel's Aquence coating at the Flint Android plant.
"It gives you the same kind of appearance that you would have with a traditional coating, but it does so in a much more environmental way," Evans said.
"What's really unique about the system is they can literally coat anything. The system will take up to a large truck frame to a whole vehicle," said Steve Dawes from UAW Region 1-C.
Aquence will be fused first on the MV-1, but the partners say that's just the beginning. "We need to fill the whole building. We're just going to keep working until it's full," Android Industries Chairman Richard Niazy said.
"You know what impressed me from Mr. Niazy, not only did he say he wants to fill this with work, we want to fill this with good, UAW-represented jobs," Dawes said.
Tim Herman from the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce calls the partnership a win-win. "It's the multiplier effect. You know for every job created here, it creates a couple or three, four other jobs in our community."
Because of the layoffs in recent years, any jobs saved or created will be filled by employees who will be called back.