Almost $600 Million in Investments, New Jobs Slated for Tuscaloosa County Companies

The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA) approved a package of tax abatements for four different projects, including Mercedes‐Benz’s latest expansion into the production of electric Sports Utility Vehicles, for a total of more than $586 million in capital investments over the coming years according to Jo Bonner, TCIDA interim executive director.

The abatements are for the following investments:

  • $495,543.910 for Mercedes‐Benz U.S. International (MBUSI). In September 2017, Mercedes

announced plans to add Electric Vehicle production to its Tuscaloosa County plant which,

according to a company spokesman, currently employs almost 3,700 people. The company

also plans to add a Marshalling Yard to a nearby site.

 

  • $86,286,000 for Warrior Met Coal (WMC). Warrior Met Coal is Alabama’s largest producer of

metallurgical coal and currently employs more than 1,400 people. According to company

officials, this investment will extend the life of Mine No. 4, located near Brookwood, for

another 25‐30 years; between 350 ‐ 400 long term jobs will be maintained and another 20

jobs will be added.

 

  • $3,500,000 for Bolta US. Bolta, a division of the U.K.‐based Purico Group, opened its

Tuscaloosa plant in July 2017 after looking at several locations around the U.S. The company

specializes in chrome plating, surface finishing and auto decorative trim; they supply

Mercedes‐Benz, VW and Audi. According to company officials, there are currently 256

employees; this expansion will create another 20 jobs.

 

  • $1,997,596 for Arch Global Precision. In 2015, Arch Global Precision acquired Smiths Machine,

a family‐owned business that has been in Cottondale since 1974. According to company

officials, Arch Global, which is based in Michigan, focuses on manufacturing precision machine

industrial components, precision cutting tools and medical implants and instruments. The company does work with several large Defense Department contractors; there are currently 82 employees and this expansion will create another 12 jobs.

 

“These investments – by four different companies that represent the diversity of Tuscaloosa County’s economy – are big,” said H. Dean McClure, TCIDA Board Chairman. “In fact, our longest‐serving Board member, Ronny Rhodes, noted at our meeting this was one of the largest announcements for new capital investment in our history.”

While some of the announcements for expansion and capital improvement had been announced previously by the individual companies, McClure noted that not all the investments would immediately lead to new jobs.

“Three of the companies, Warrior Met Coal, Bolta, and Arch Global Precision, tied their request for abatements to new jobs as well as to capital expenditure,” McClure said. “Clearly, we always like to announce that new jobs are coming to our area whenever we can.”

McClure noted that the Board has an obligation to stand by the companies that continue to invest in the future, including Mercedes.

“The fact that Mercedes intends to build all their Electric SUVs at their Vance plant is another tremendous vote of confidence in Alabama’s workforce and Alabama’s expanding role as an automotive juggernaut in the American automobile industry,” he said.

 “During our 21‐years of production operations in Alabama, MBUSI has become an important part of the flexible global production network of Mercedes‐Benz Cars,” said Jason Hoff, President and CEO of the Tuscaloosa County plant. “With this new investment, Plant Tuscaloosa will produce fully electric SUVs for our EQ brand by the beginning of the next decade and they will be built alongside SUVs with conventional engines. We have an incredible amount of planning and preparation that has to be done over the next few years, but this team is ready for the challenge. Today’s decision reinforces MBUSI’s commitment to Alabama and this community.”

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