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Autonomous Vehicle Maker NAVYA Set to Open First U.S. Production Plant in Saline, MI

In a joint announcement, NAVYA with project collaborators Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Ann Arbor SPARK announce that its Michigan plant will be located in the city of Saline, Michigan with a 20,000+ sq. ft. facility. NAVYA plans to build approximately 25 of its ARMA fully autonomous shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017. NAVYA’s breakthrough ARMA shuttle has become a global leader in first and last mile transportation solutions with a fleet of 45 vehicles deployed worldwide and more than 170,000 passengers transported to date. With the addition of its new plant in Saline the company will be able to boost production significantly to serve the growing North American market.

“We at NAVYA could not be more pleased to call Saline, Michigan home to our first assembly plant in North America. As the greater Ann Arbor area continues to establish itself as a hub for autonomous vehicle development, we feel it’s the perfect location for us. Strong government and community support for mobility initiatives combined with an excellent talent pool provide the ideal environment for our expansion in North America,” said NAVYA CEO Christophe Sapet.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $1 million and create 50 jobs, resulting in a $435,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. The funds are approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund and administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Michigan is at the forefront of mobility and autonomous vehicle development, and NAVYA’s decision to establish its first U.S. facility in Saline further solidifies our leadership position in that space,” said Trevor Pawl, MEDC group vice president over Planet M, the state’s new economic development initiative set up to help mobility companies enter Michigan. “We applaud NAVYA’s commitment to Michigan and look forward to working with the company as it continues to develop advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.”

“NAVYA’s growth in the Ann Arbor region is fueled by our region's commitment to innovation in mobility technology, and the talented people who think and work on these issues every day throughout our region,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “We’re excited to add depth to our technical prowess in this region, and to be part of NAVYA tapping in to the manufacturing and engineering capabilities here as it moves forward in making some of the world’s first autonomous mass transit vehicles. NAVYA is a terrific contribution to our prominence in the connected and autonomous vehicle industry.”

Ann Arbor SPARK hosted NAVYA during its first visit to the region as part of a French Mobility delegation in 2015. Going forward, Ann Arbor SPARK will help NAVYA locate the employees it needs to continue its growth at its new manufacturing facility in Saline.

"The City of Saline is ecstatic to welcome NAVYA Inc. to our community, and I have no doubt that they will become an important and valued member of our already stellar business community,” said Brian Marl, Mayor, City of Saline. "NAVYA is an innovative company, working on the latest autonomous vehicle technology; I believe that their future is bright, and the City of Saline looks forward to assisting and supporting them in every reasonable way."

ABOUT THE NAVYA ARMA

NAVYA ARMA is a safe, reliable and comfortable 100% autonomous, driverless and electric public transport vehicle that can carry up to 15 people. It has been designed to ensure the specific functions of an autonomous vehicle while optimizing navigation and safety. The shuttle is equipped with a multitude of sensor technology to provide 3D vision which enables it to map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs. The NAVYA ARMA shuttle can reach speeds of 28miles/hr. However, taking into account the nature of the sites it often serves, this is often limited to 15 miles/hr. The vehicle aims to provide a complement to current public transport systems over distances that are too short to go by car or are too long on foot.

ABOUT NAVYA

NAVYA, created in 2014, is a French company specializing in developing innovative, smart and sustainable mobility solutions. NAVYA develops driverless, automated electric vehicles that are independent of all infrastructure. These vehicles are designed for the intelligent transport of people and goods.

In October 2015, NAVYA launched the NAVYA ARMA, a 100% autonomous, driverless and electric shuttle which can transport up to 15 people and which is now operating on different sites: private sites and public roads.

The vehicle is equipped with numerous sensors and an on-board computing system that enables it to interact with its surroundings. It is also intended to provide efficient mobility solutions in terms of space and energy. NAVYA benefits from major advances in technology in the autonomous, electric vehicle sector thanks to its experience in the field and a highly-qualified R&D team. Christophe Sapet, its CEO, is supported by a team of 130 people divided up between Lyon and Paris.

October 2016 saw NAVYA’s shareholders unanimously approve a raise in capital of 30 million euros. French groups VALEO and KEOLIS and the Qatari GROUP8 acquired a stake in the company alongside GRAVITATION and CAPDECISIF MANAGEMENT, who joined in 2015 and ROBOLUTION CAPITAL, the original investor. www.navya.tech

ABOUT MEDC

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

ABOUT SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LDFA), Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

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