July 6, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Governor Leads Economic Development Mission

STUTTGART, GERMANY – Governor Robert Bentley and other state officials met in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday to thank leaders of Daimler AG for the company’s continued expansion of the Mercedes-Benz facility in Tuscaloosa County and to further discuss the long-term partnership between the German automaker and the State of Alabama.


The meeting today was part of a week-long economic development trip that included a visit to an Airbus manufacturing facility in Hamburg, Germany, and will end with a visit to the Farnborough Air Show in England


In Stuttgart, Governor Bentley met with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.  The meeting focused on supply chain strategy with the upcoming assembly of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which will be produced at the Alabama plant beginning in 2014.  Governor Bentley also thanked Dr. Zetsche for his support of the Alabama workforce at the Vance plant.


“It was nearly 20 years ago when Mercedes-Benz chose Alabama as the site of its U.S. assembly plant, and since then, Mercedes-Benz has been an excellent corporate citizen in Alabama,” Governor Bentley said.  “Today’s meeting was a great opportunity to thank Dr. Zetsche for the continued updating of the Alabama facility in order to meet market demand.  With the C-Class coming, we are well-positioned to build a variety of products that consumers are eager to purchase.  Mercedes-Benz laid the foundation for the automotive industry in Alabama, and we appreciate the company’s continued commitment to the state.”


Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield is accompanying the Governor on the economic development mission.


“We continue to work with Mercedes-Benz regarding the strategy to secure new suppliers into Alabama for the future assembly of the C-Class in Vance,” Secretary Canfield said.  “It is clear that Dr. Zetsche has a vision for Mercedes and that Alabama can have a role of growing importance in the future."


Earlier in his economic development mission, Governor Bentley on Thursday visited an Airbus manufacturing facility in Hamburg.  The Governor met with Airbus officials to discuss the company’s new facility that will be built at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile.  On Monday, Airbus announced it would build its first North American manufacturing facility at the complex, creating 1,000 new jobs within the facility and 3,200 construction-related jobs.


The Airbus project is a strong example of the economic development projects targeted by Accelerate Alabama – a long-term strategic plan for attracting a broad range of industries and new jobs.  Accelerate Alabama was created by the Alabama Economic Development Alliance, which was established by Governor Bentley last year.


As the Governor’s economic development mission continues, Governor Bentley is scheduled to attend the Farnborough International Airshow in England on Sunday.  There, Governor Bentley will meet with key aviation and aerospace industry figures and other senior government officials.  The goal is to continue the progress that has been made in attracting new, high-tech industries and employment opportunities for AlabamaAerospace is one of 11 specific business sectors that Alabama is pursuing for additional development as part of the Accelerate Alabama plan.


At the last Farnborough Airshow in 2010, nearly 1,500 exhibitors from 40 countries and 120,000 trade visitors were in attendance.  Farnborough provides an excellent opportunity for members of the aviation and aerospace supply chains to come together, meet with customers, and discuss future opportunities. While at Farnborough, Governor Bentley will meet with companies that already have a presence in Alabama and companies looking to potentially locate in Alabama.




For additional information, contact the Governor’s Press Office at 334-242-7150.


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