US manufacturing drawn to Fremont, California

A combination of tax breaks, agreeable infrastructure and a proximity to the technology hotspot of Silicon Valley are combining to create interest in manufacturing in Fremont, California.

AP reports that Fremont, a “nondescript” suburb with a population of 217,000 across San Francisco Bay from Silicon Valley, is home to a variety of manufacturers including Tesla Motors – at the former NUMMI factory site, pictured – and Solaria.

Businesses are offered a five-year waiver on company taxes, fast-tracked regulatory process, and nearness to clusters of technologically creative businesses in suburbs such as Palo Alto and Redwood City.

"One time, we tried outsourcing components to China, and that came back to bite us," Sanjiv Malhotra, president of Oorja Protonics, a maker of fuel cells, told AP.

"It was going to save us lots of money, but the quality was so poor it ended up costing us deeply."

There are over 110 manufacturing companies operating in the area, with 30 of them manufacturing clean technology solutions.

Post-recession, city officials promoted Fremont’s corporate parks, closeness to ports and proximity to major highways. A new train station is being developed and a downtown upgrade is also planned.

"The resources we are putting behind economic and community development create a vibrant place that residents can be proud of and a booming environment that enables companies to create the most cutting-edge technologies and products in the Silicon Valley and across the globe," said mayor Bill Harrison.



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