Auto supplier plans $50 million expansion in Alabama

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Governor Kay Ivey gave remarks at a REHAU Announcement Tuesday August 31, 2021 in Cullman, Ala. REHAU is doing a 45M expansion to purchase equipment for the production of exterior body parts of the Mercedes-Benz Electric Car (EQ) Line. This project will create 125 New Jobs in Cullman. REHAU was also the first Mercedes Supplier.(Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — A German auto supplier plans to expands its facility in Alabama and will hire 125 new workers.

REHAU is marking its 25th anniversary in Cullman, Alabama, and recently secured a contract to build exterior polymer-based components for Mercedes-Benz SUVs. The company announced plans Tuesday to invest $50 million in the expansion, al.com reported.

“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,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “This investment shows that the Alabama-Germany partnership has never been stronger.”

The plant opened in early 1996 with 30 employees. A second plant producing pipe for heating and plumbing applications was opened in 2007, and a technical center followed in 2015. The REHAU Cullman operation now has nearly 800 employees.

Plant Manager Venki Padmanabhan said REHAU was one of Mercedes-Benz’s earliest partners in launching its SUV operations in Alabama.

“Twenty-five years ago, REHAU followed Mercedes-Benz AG to the U.S. from the Bavarian town of Rehau to Cullman,” Padmanabhan said. “Now, we are honored and excited that they have placed their faith in us once again to support the launch of their new models.”

Mercedes-Benz launched a $1 billion expansion of its Tuscaloosa County operations in 2017, which included equipping the plant to manufacture electric SUVs, as well as build an electric battery plant, a logistics hub and a parts and supply hub in nearby Bibb County. The Vance plant will begin producing electric SUVs in 2022.

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