DETROIT — A $7.8 million driving simulation and vehicle development center is being planned for suburban Detroit.

Multimatic Sales & Marketing Inc., a subsidiary of Canada-based Multimatic Inc., is building a “state-of-the-art driving simulator” called SimCenter, which will create 50 new jobs in Novi, Mich., according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The privately held auto supplier — most recently known for building Ford’s $450,000 GT supercar — will develop technology for hybrid and electric vehicles at the center, which will include conference rooms, equipment test cells, a control room and a test property preparation area. The MEDC said the simulator would be “the first of its kind in North America” and operate as an extension of the company’s other simulators in Canada and England.

“We welcome Multimatic’s commitment to Michigan and becoming a key contributor to the state’s expanding autonomous vehicle supply chain,” MEDC CEO Jeff Mason said in the Wednesday press release.

The company plans to develop two 24,800-square-foot buildings on eight acres, a few block north of Grand River Avenue, according to a city document.

The project is being boosted by a $603,500 Michigan Business Development Program grant, which helped lure the company away from a competing site in Canada. The Novi City Council is also considering a property tax abatement for the project.

Multimatic engineers complex mechanisms, suspension systems and body structures. The supplpier also designs and develops lightweight composite auto systems, according to its website. It operates a plant in Jackson, Mich., and office in Southfield, Mich. 

The titles and pay scale for the new jobs were not specified, but the MEDC called them “high-paying.” Job openings can be found on the company’s website.