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Bollinger Motors Plans $44M Metro Detroit Investment, 237 New Jobs

July 26, 2023

Crain’s Detroit Business
Kurt Nagl
July 25, 2023

Bollinger Motors Inc. aims to invest $44 million at its Livonia manufacturing plant and Oak Park headquarters in an expansion that would create 237 jobs.

The homegrown electric truck startup, bought by Mullen Automotive Inc. last year, is preparing to launch production of its first vehicle, a Class 4 EV, in the first half of next year, according to a briefing memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The board of the MEDC’s funding arm, the Michigan Strategic Fund, on Tuesday approved a $3 million performance-based grant for the project, which the MEDC said would offset the additional cost of expanding in Michigan versus a competing site in Indiana.

The jobs are expected to pay an average of $55.37 per hour plus benefits. The company presently employs 55 in Michigan. Bollinger will also team with Michigan Works to recruit local talent in disadvantaged areas, the memo said.

Bollinger contracted Roush Industries as its third-party assembly manufacturer in Livonia to manage production of its vehicles, but the name of the company was not disclosed.

Brea, Calif.-based Mullen bought a 60% stake in Bollinger for $148.2 million in September. Shortly after the announcement, Novi-based Our Next Energy Inc. was tapped to supply Bollinger with electric batteries on Class 4-6 chassis cabs, marking the end of in-house battery development for Bollinger.

Founded in 2015 in the Catskill Mountains of New York, Bollinger has struggled with production setbacks and financial issues. Mullen, which has faced its own financial troubles, also bought Troy-based Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. in October. The EV companies were among a host of mobility startups to nab money from investors eager to create the next Tesla. The market has since consolidated considerably.

Jason Puscas, general counsel for Bollinger, told MSF board members that the company has about $55 million cash on hand, with a burn rate of $10 million per quarter. He said the company is considering a new line of credit for parts inventory.