Automotive Corporate Transactions

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Companies seeking to expand their interests and resources in the automotive industry benefit from working with an experienced legal partner who can help them avoid the risks often associated with these transactions. From the early stages of initiating a transaction, through the intricacies of due diligence review and tax planning, to negotiating a contract or labor agreement to handling workouts and implementing post-closing integration strategies, our automotive team supports our clients throughout the entire process.


Since our founding in Detroit in 1878, Dickinson Wright has operated at the center of the North American automotive industry. Today, with offices across North American as well as affiliations with local firms in Europe and Asia, Dickinson Wright’s automotive practice remains sophisticated, versatile, and accessible. Our lawyers have represented some of the largest buyers and sellers in the industry, and as a result, we understand both the business and legal aspects of both major and minor corporate transactions. Working side-by-side with in-house counsel,  as well as business representatives from a variety of our client’s departments, we provide practical advice while vigorously advocating to achieve our clients’ objectives.


Our Team


Our automotive attorneys believe that effective legal advocacy requires not only comprehensive knowledge of the law, but also a thorough understanding of our clients’ industry, businesses, and technologies. Our team has decades of experience serving the automotive industry with many team members having spent years in-house with major OEMs or Tier 1 suppliers. Team members are frequently recognized by Chambers®, Best Lawyers in America®, Super Lawyers®, and other leading evaluating organizations.


Our Services


As a full-service law firm, we continuously draw on our entire firm’s strengths in finance, real estate, employee benefits, securities, labor and employment, environmental, and intellectual property to provide comprehensive services to our automotive clients. Our automotive transaction work includes:


  • Joint ventures

  • Purchase and sales contracts

  • Long-term supply contracts

  • Provider agreements

  • Automotive assembly supply agreements

  • SEC compliance work

  • Contract manufacturing agreements

  • Taxation

  • Multi-party directed supply agreements

  • Plant construction

  • Ground and facility leases

  • Vendor and customer relationships

  • Equipment financing agreements
Representative Matters

–Assisted a major Tier 1 supplier in the U.S. and Canadian restructuring aspects of their global joint venture with a Chinese automotive supplier. The joint venture has revenues of $8.5 billion and is expected to reach $10 billion in the next few years.

–Represented a major Tier 1 supplier in the formation of a joint venture with a senior lender syndicate and served as lead counsel in connection with a $400 million asset acquisition (through a Section 363 sale out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy) of nearly 50 U.S. domestic, Mexican, and Canadian automotive interiors facilities.

–Assisted a major Tier 1 supplier in acquiring a wholly-owned subsidiary of another major Tier 1 supplier. Following the acquisition, our client is one of the largest privately owned automotive supplier groups in Michigan.

Represented an automotive supplier based in India concerning a stock and real estate purchase transaction related to the supplier’s expansion into the United States via the purchase of another company involving the stock purchase transaction and a separate real estate purchase involving a manufacturing facility.

–Counsel to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in the drafting and negotiating of a broad spectrum of contracts including stock and asset purchase agreements, nondisclosure agreements, product and technology development agreements, supply agreements, and related matters.

–Supporting automotive and industrial clients in all aspects of labor and employment matters, including immigration, leased employee agreements, and benefits issues whether arising from transactions and day-to-day operations of our clients.

–Counseling clients in corporate formation, liability deterrence, and tax planning matters.

–Assisting clients in managing their purchasing and manufacturing risks through drafting and negotiating production and non-production purchasing contracts, and engaging in dispute resolution, outsourcing projects, and supply chain and logistics matters.

–Counseled automotive and industrial clients in international corporate matters including cross-border acquisitions and direct investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances, establishment of subsidiaries, branch offices, and other facilities, marketing and licensing arrangements, customs and international trade, export controls, and international regulatory compliance.
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