A company that supplies components for Tesla and Lucid is setting up shop in Flagstaff. UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries, from Ludington, Michigan, is opening up a factory in the old Walgreens distribution center. The factory will produce precision aluminum components for electric vehicles for the two automotive companies. The company plans to add around 120 full-time jobs by the end of 2021 and 350 jobs within five years. Company Vice President of Operations Steve Gray was on KAFF Country 93.5/AM 930 recently with Peter and Dave and says Flagstaff was a good fit for the factory due to the location to Tesla in California and in Texas and Lucid in Arizona, along with a great quality of life for its employees. ECONA’s Gail Jackson says the company plans to invest as much as $60-million here and that these jobs will be 60-percent higher than the county’s per capita income. Gray says he discovered Flagstaff after “looking at about 12 to 15 locations, myself and another person decided to take a day off and go to Page to take some photographs.” He adds, “we were driving through Flagstaff and saw a building that said 300-thousand square feet for lease (Walgreens.) That turned the light switch on and we started to look at potentially coming here.” Jackson says even with COVID protocols and the changes to the business community, Flagstaff remained attractive to outside companies during the pandemic. She says, “we had a record year last year in terms of the number of groups that we hosted” that were interested to bring their businesses to the area.
To listen to the interview from Tuesday with Steve Gray and Gail Jackson, click here: