German automotive supplier opens first North American facility in Alabama, creating 235 jobs
Gerhardi, Inc. on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of the German automotive company’s facility in Montgomery, its first located in North America.
Members of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, along with a group of state and local elected officials, joined Gerhardi for the occasion.
The company has invested $41.6 million in the new facility, which will employ up to 235 Alabamians.
Today, Gerhardi is best known for its innovation in developing and producing superior interior and exterior plastic automotive parts. Using such technologies as injection molding, advanced electroplating and hot stamping, the company manufactures a variety of products including radiator grilles, handles and chrome trims for its clients worldwide.
Founded in 1796, Gerhardi originally manufactured brass and copper buckles. Over the years the company expanded to production of tea and coffee sets. However, by 1952, it began to shift focus to production of automotive components.
In a statement, Gerhardi Managing Director Rienhard Hoffman said, “Gerhardi, Inc is very excited to announce the grand opening of our state-of-the-art injection molding, electroplating and assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama.”
“Montgomery has proven itself as the perfect location for Gerhardi to introduce our processes and product to the automotive world in the U.S. As Alabama continues to grow and develop as one of the leading areas in automotive manufacturing, Gerhardi, Inc looks forward to the many opportunities for growth in the future,” he added.
The company’s decision to locate to Montgomery comes as a testament to the state’s automotive manufacturing prowess, as well as the strength of Alabama’s workforce development and local economic development efforts.
“We congratulate Gerhardi on their grand opening,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange emphasized. “Gerhardi could have chosen any place in North America to locate this facility and they chose the Capital of Dreams. This shows that we are not only excelling nationally, but we are also continuing to boost our global presence.”
“Gerhardi has seen that great things happen when you do business in Montgomery,” the mayor added.
Willie Durham, chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, remarked, “We welcome Gerhardi as part of Montgomery community. In Montgomery they see a place that can uphold their high standards of excellence. It is certainly exciting to know that we are part of an organization so firmly rooted in the future.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn