Safavian: Whitmer’s car rebate plan won’t grow auto industry

Jennifer Safavian
February 3, 2024

The automotive industry has a storied history in Michigan, and for more than a century, it has been the lifeblood of the state’s economy. So, it is no wonder policymakers strive to create an environment where the auto industry and its workforce can thrive.

However, Michigan is currently at a crossroads.

In her recent State of the State Address, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reiterated her plan to lower the cost of buying a car in the state as a way to bolster and ignite the state’s auto industry. Known as the Michigan Vehicle Rebate Plan, consumers buying a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) produced in a unionized factory would get $2,500 in state tax rebates. If consumers choose a model made in a non-union factory, they’d receive $500 less. The same differential applies to traditional combustion vehicles, prioritizing union-made cars and trucks with a $1,500 rebate compared to $1,000 when it’s made by non-union workers.

Read the full op-ed here.