European auto supplier REHAU announced plans to expand its Cullman plant in support of the company’s recently-awarded contract to build exterior polymer-based components for Mercedes-Benz SUV models.
State and local officials joined company leaders in celebrating the expansion and mark REHAU’s 25-year presence in the North Alabama city.
Dale Greer, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, touted REHAU’s contribution to the state’s robust automotive industry.
“REHAU’s growth in Cullman is a tribute to both the company and the Cullman community,” said Greer. “The plant has not only become an integral part of our community; its success has also played a significant role in making Alabama one of the largest automobile producing states in America.”
According to REHAU, the plan requires a total capital investment of $50 million for new production equipment and tooling. The expansion is expected to create 125 new jobs.
Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) praised the company’s Cullman plant expansion.
“REHAU has played a vital role in the success of Alabama’s automotive industry for 25 years, and it’s great to see the company expand its operation in Cullman,” Ivey said. “This expansion and the 125 new jobs it will create will be vital to Mercedes-Benz’s growth right here in Sweet Home Alabama. This investment shows that the Alabama-Germany Partnership has never been stronger.”
According to the announcement, the project’s capital investment and job creation made it possible for ADECA to provide a $700,000 grant to the city of Cullman toward a $1 million road project to service the REHAU plant. The city and county commission will share equally the cost of the remaining $300,000 to resurface and rehabilitate two miles of 24th Street that serves truck and employee traffic for REHAU and other industries in the area. The road work will be performed later this year.
Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, hailed the role ADECA played in the expansion by providing grant support to the city.
“From its beginnings in 1996, REHAU’s Cullman plant has provided important support for Alabama’s automotive industry as well as good-paying careers for many Alabamians,” said Boswell. “ADECA is pleased to have played a role in the success and expansion of the company through infrastructure grants to the city of Cullman. We congratulate REHAU not only on 25 years of operation in Cullman but also on its continued success and expansion into new lines, which will create even more jobs.”
Cullman County Commission chairman Jeff Clemons praised the collaborative effort of county and city officials in ensuring the expansion came to fruition.
“REHAU continues to prosper in Cullman County and provide quality jobs. Jobs are important and REHAU has been one of the largest manufacturing employers here for years,” said Clemons. “I am honored the county and city can work together to help support this project expansion.”
Mayor Woody Jacobs said the expansion and continued partnership serves to benefit the city, county and company.
“Companies can grow where they have a quality labor force and a supportive community,” said Jacobs. “REHAU enjoys a great reputation worldwide for quality and innovation. I believe the Cullman facility contributes to those high standards. We are excited about REHAU’s continued success here.”
Cullman County is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Yellowhammer State. REHAU’s expansion further strengthens the state’s ever-growing automotive industry and adds to the robust manufacturing base in North Alabama.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL