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MollerTech plans $46M Alabama auto parts plant with 222 jobs

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CENTREVILLE, Alabama — German automotive supplier MollerTech announced today that it will invest $46.3 million to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bibb County, creating 222 jobs in Alabama’s growing auto sector.

“Attracting investment and new jobs to Alabama’s rural counties is a key priority in our overall economic development strategy, and MollerTech’s manufacturing facility in Bibb County represents the kind of project that we have been targeting,” Governor Robert Bentley said.

“We now have new tools to help rural counties overcome the obstacles they face in economic development,” he added. “We’re committed to using them.”

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa has become a magnet for new investment as the automaker’s supply network continues to expand.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa has become a magnet for new investment as the automaker’s supply network continues to expand.

MollerTech plans to construct a 150,000-square-foot facility in the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park, near Interstate 20/59 and close to the Woodstock community in northern Bibb County. It will manufacture interior parts for Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation SUVs, to be produced at the automaker’s Alabama assembly plant after a $1.3 billion expansion.

MollerTech’s North American President and CEO Steve Jordan said the Bibb County facility will serve as the company’s flagship U.S. manufacturing facility, incorporating new ideas and best practices from other operations in the company’s manufacturing footprint.

“After many months visiting various states as well as numerous counties in Alabama, we are pleased to settle in Bibb County,” Jordan said. “Our Moller Culture is very much centered on people and local communities and, because of that, we find that there is ‘a good fit’ between MollerTech and Bibb County.

“The help that we received both financially as well as personally from the state and the county helped us in making this decision,” he added. “So we would like to thank the State of Alabama as well as Bibb County in being patient and supporting us in this new venture of ours.”

‘PROJECT HELIOS’

The Birmingham region competed for the project – codenamed “Helios” — with other sites across the Southeast.

The Bibb County Commission, the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Power Co., and the Birmingham Business Alliance worked together to bring MollerTech to the Birmingham region.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, joined company leaders and local officials at an announcement ceremony this afternoon at the Bibb County Board of Education.

Bibb County provided the company with 20 acres of land in the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park for the facility, as well as an abatement of non-educational sales and use and property taxes, and the state provided jobs and investment credits and AIDT workforce training, all valued at $12.3 million over a 15-year period.

Bibb County Commissioner Ricky Hubbard said MollerTech’s project will be a “great boost” for the county and its workforce.

“MollerTech will be the second largest manufacturing employer in the county and the third largest overall,” Hubbard said. “We are excited that they investment will impact the lives of so many people here.”

GERMAN INVESTMENT

Brian Hilson of the Birmingham Business Alliance
Brian Hilson of the Birmingham Business Alliance

MollerTech – which originated as a family copper trading and processing business in 1730 – represents the 18th German corporate investment in the seven-county Birmingham metro area, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). Those 18 companies will employ approximately 1,700 people once MollerTech is operational.

“As excited as we are for MollerTech, Bibb County, the state and all of the entities involved in this project, we are even more excited about MollerTech’s future workforce and the impact the 222 job opportunities will have on them and their families,” said Brian Hilson, the BBA’s president and CEO.

MollerTech is the automotive arm of Germany-based MollerGroup, which remains a family-owned company with 2,300 employees worldwide today. Besides Mercedes, it develops and produces interior parts for automakers including Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota.

MollerTech has U.S. facilities in Elberton, Georgia, and Shelby Township, Michigan. The company hopes the Alabama facility — located just six miles from the Mercedes plant in Vance — will be at full production by the end of 2019.

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