Dallas approves more than $3 million in incentives to attract Ford self-driving vehicle facility

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On Wednesday, Dallas City Council approved a proposed package of tax incentives and grants totaling more than $3 million for a potential new $160 million Ford Motor Company and Argo AI self driving vehicle facility.

The facility would create at least 250 jobs and be located on the western perimeter of Dallas Love Field Airport. Dallas and two cities in California are the finalists for the partnership's next facility, according to documents.

If Ford Motor Company selects the Dallas site, the company would be eligible to receive more than $3 million in tax breaks over five years, according to city documents. The company would also receive $200,000 in grant money if the jobs it creates meet certain salary thresholds, and another $50,000 for construction costs. In order to receive the tax abatements, the would have to invest $160 million in property improvements and equipment at the Love Field site by the end of 2027.

Council member Tennell Atkins expressed approval of the incentive package and Ford's project, but stressed that the city would need to market itself aggressively to win economic investments like these.

"We all voted today, they're probably voting in another city on the same agenda and we've got to send a message to [Ford] that we are ready for them to come to Dallas," Atkins said.

Ford has thus far been mum on the details of the work that would be performed at the new facility, telling The Dallas Morning News this week that it is focused on building a profitable autonomous vehicle business.

"Scaling this technology is key, driving us to explore a variety of cities in the U.S. to expand our self-driving services. We will share more information about our self-driving business in the future," a spokeswoman for Ford said previously.

Ford, which invested in Argo AI in 2017, has already launched tests of delivery and ride hailing services in Austin and two other cities. The self-driving tech startup was founded by former leaders at Google and Uber.

The incentive agreement approved by Dallas city council this week also contained language compelling Ford and its self-driving vehicle partner to develop workforce training initiatives for students at Dallas and Richardson ISD as well as Dallas College.

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