GM relocates Honeoye Falls fuel-cell research facility to Michigan image

General Motors is planning to close its hydrogen fuel-cell research facility in Honeoye Falls and relocate it to Michigan, the company has announced.

GM’s move to shift the Honeoye Falls operations, including research and product engineering, will consolidate its global power train engineering headquarters in Pontiac, Michigan.

The Detroit-based carmaker also plans to move 220 employees working at the Honeoye Falls facility to its Michigan headquarters. GM said the relocation will be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2013. According to GM spokeswoman Kimberly Carpenter, the move has some significant business advantages for the company.

“One of the most pertinent reasons is that we’ll really be able to capitalize on the synergies of having that technical expertise in one location,” Carpenter was quoted as saying by Rochester Business Journal.

The Honeoye Falls center was opened by GM in 1999, which expanded its fuel cell development and manufacturing in 2001 with the help of county tax incentives. The facility has received several state and federal grants, including more than $1.25 million in 2010 from the U.S. Commerce Department and a $1.6 million contract also that year from the Navy to build and design fuel cell technologies for a new fleet of underwater vehicles.