WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Governor Ted Strickland praised CODA Automotive’s announcement that it will open a new manufacturing facility in Central Ohio. The California-based company produces electric cars and the Columbus plant will build lithium ion batteries for electric cars, expected to create 1,000 jobs in Ohio. 

“CODA’s decision to open a facility in our state means that more Ohio workers will help manufacture the cars of the 21st century,” Brown said. “Ohio is quickly becoming a national leader in clean energy component manufacturing for the auto industry. In Ohio, CODA will find a rich manufacturing heritage, skilled workforce, and entrepreneurial spirit.”

“This is a great day for Ohio’s economic future.  The competition for this project, estimated to create more than 1,000 new jobs, between states was intense,” Strickland said. “Ohio was not even under consideration by CODA at the start.  But when we learned about CODA’s innovative product, we went to work to make the case for their business to invest in Ohio. We have the skilled workers. A world-class manufacturing infrastructure. A competitive business environment and central location.  I want to thank CODA Automotive for recognizing what I have always believed about Ohio: we can lead the automotive industry into the 21st century.”

The project is expected to create up to 1,328 jobs after five years of operation, pending the necessary site and incentives approvals.  A coordinated Ohio team, including Senator Brown, Governor Ted Strickland, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, the Columbus Partnership, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, The Ohio State University, Franklin County and other local leaders, met with the company throughout 2010 to discuss CODA’s needs before reaching an agreement contingent upon the approvals of state incentives. CODA will also soon apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan (ATVM). The location of the plant is still being determined and is contingent on final site negotiations.

Brown is a leading proponent of assistance for the auto industry, auto parts suppliers, and small and mid-sized manufacturers. Earlier this month, Sen. Brown introduced the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act that would expand and improve the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit (48C) program. Authorized in the Recovery Act, the program provides a 30 percent credit for domestic companies for investments in new, expanded, or reequipped clean energy manufacturing projects.

Along with Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH), Brown led the bipartisan fight to provide additional assistance to the auto industry last December. He is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, legislation incorporated in the House-passed clean energy bill that would create a $30 billion revolving loan program to help auto suppliers and other small and mid-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy industry. Brown’s bill would also expand the focus of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to include support for manufacturers transitioning to the clean energy economy.