SF Motors, an electric vehicle clean mobility brand based out of Silicon Valley, and AM General have entered into a definitive agreement under which SF Motors, a subsidiary of Sokon Industry Group, will acquire AM General’s commercial assembly plant (CAP). The transaction, which includes the acquisition of the land, plant and certain auto manufacturing equipment exclusively associated with the CAP, does not impact AM General’s separate military assembly plant (MAP) or military-related business, which is AM General’s core business. The two plants have always operated independently, and following the close of the transaction, they will be totally separate and independent companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, SF Motors expects to retain, after a period of retooling, all of the current CAP employees, preserving approximately 430 American auto worker jobs, which would have otherwise been lost when the CAP’s sole remaining customer contract expires later this year and would have resulted in a line shutdown. These employees are nearly all represented by UAW Local 5, which is the oldest continuously operating UAW Local in the country. Sokon Industry Group has also committed to enhancing the economies of the broader South Bend region and state of Indiana, including making approximately $30 million in key upgrades to the CAP.
Sokon Industry Group, a publicly-traded company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange that is principally engaged in the research and development, manufacturing and sales of automobiles, engines and accessories, recently established a US-based headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley as the first step in launching a dedicated EV clean mobility brand on the West Coast, known as SF Motors. The company has also established a research and development (R&D) facility outside Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sokon’s primary business is comprised of automobile manufacturing, engine manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing. SF Motors will use the CAP facility to produce intelligent electric vehicles and expects to source subassemblies, parts and materials for its new operations at the facility predominantly from US sources, which would support US supply chain jobs.
John Zhang, CEO of SF Motors, said: “This transaction represents a unique opportunity to grow our intelligent electric vehicle business through the addition of an existing production facility and a skilled work force. We are excited to work closely with our new Indiana-based team to produce SF Motors’ next-generation electric vehicle in South Bend, Indiana, and we look forward to becoming a part of the local community and a strong contributor to Indiana’s economic growth.”
“We are confident that SF Motors is the right long-term owner to support the CAP, as well as the South Bend community and the State of Indiana,” said AM General President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hove. “This transaction puts the CAP on solid ground to keep the assembly lines running, providing our tremendously talented and dedicated employees new opportunities as part of SF Motors and its plans to produce next generation electric vehicles. South Bend has been AM General’s home for nearly 30 years, and following the sale of the CAP, we will maintain our deep ties to the region as we continue to operate our military business, which is profitable, strong and growing.”