Amphibious vehicle developer opens Michigan headquarters

Jan. 1, 2020
Gibbs Technologies will open a new North American headquarters and product development center in southeastern Michigan this fall.
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Gibbs Technologies will open a new North American headquarters and product development center in southeastern Michigan this fall.

The company, which develops high-speed amphibious vehicles, expects to invest more than $13 million in equipment and infrastructure improvements at the 37,500-square-foot facility located on a 2-acre tract at 2046 Brown Road in Auburn Hills.

Speaking at a recent press conference in Orchard Lake, Neil Jenkins, the company’s president and CEO, said the new headquarters complex is expected to employ up to 250 people within the next five years and generate an additional 270 jobs at supplier firms and other area businesses.

A 10-year, $5.9-million tax credit approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and an eight-year, $15,150 tax abatement from the City of Auburn Hills paved the way for the Gibbs move. The company had considered other sites in the Great Lakes region, as well as in the southeastern United States.

Jenkins says the company plans to introduce a sporty three-passenger, high-speed amphibious car and an all-terrain high-speed amphibian (HSA) within the next 18 months. The company is looking at sites in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Texas for its manufacturing operations.

Gibbs recently awarded a six-month, million-dollar engineering contract to Saleen Inc. to support the production engineering of its high-speed amphibians for consumer use in North America. The company also is developing its technology for military applications under an agreement inked last year with Lockheed Martin.

“Michigan’s pool of high-tech engineering talent, its active automotive supplier base and easy-access to waterways for high-speed amphibians make it a very good location for our research-and-development activities,” Jenkins says.

Gibbs Technologies has operated from a temporary headquarters facility in Plymouth, Mich., for the past nine months.

The Gibbs Aquada is a three-passenger high-speed amphibian that combines the handling of a sports car with an ability to travel up to 40 mph or more on water and 110 mph on land. The company’s all-terrain vehicle achieves speeds of up to 40 mph on both land and water.

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