January 14, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Mercedes-Benz Growth Prompts 200-job Expansion at Cullman Auto Supplier

By Dawn Kent- al.com 
January 14, 2013 

Benz 7.JPG 
A Cullman auto supplier is expanding to accommodate growth at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County. (Joe Songer/jsonger@al.com)  
CULLMAN, Alabama -- The addition of a new model at Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant has helped spark growth at Cullman auto supplier REHAU.

REHAU is breaking ground today on a $115 million, 200-job expansion that is the result of a new contract to develop and produce bumper assemblies for Mercedes. They will be used on the C-Class sedan, scheduled to join the automaker's assembly lines in 2014, as well as the plant's current flagship model, the M-Class SUV.

Production of the bumper assemblies is scheduled to begin mid-year.

The Mercedes contract win is not only significant for REHAU's Cullman plant but also for its global operations, as the company is developing bumper parts that can be used on vehicles in a number of countries, said Niklas Braun, REHAU Group board member and Automotive chief executive.

Albert von Pelser, REHAU's Cullman plant manager, credited the company's international network, as well as ongoing support from the city of Cullman, the Cullman Economic Development Agency and the Industrial Development Board of the City of Cullman.

Gov. Robert Bentley credited the state's work force for continued growth in the automotive industry.

"REHAU's latest expansion is a great compliment to the hard workers who are making this company successful," he said in a prepared statement.

In addition to a building expansion, the project includes new injection molding equipment, fabrication devices and the conversion of the existing paint line to an environmentally friendly, water-borne paint system, the company said.

It's been a busy year for Mercedes, which is revamping its own factory to add the C-Class. The company is expected to hire the bulk of the 1,000 new workers tied to that project later this year.

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