Governor Kay Ivey announced Hagerstown, Indiana-based Autocar will invest $120 million launch a manufacturing operation plant in Alabama to produce heavy-duty cab-over-engine trucks. The project is expected to create 746 jobs.
At a press conference at the Birmingham Business Alliance, Autocar said its manufacturing operation will be located in an existing 1-million-square-foot complex located in both Center Point and Birmingham.
Autocar’s new truck assembly operation in Jefferson County will add a layer to the state’s robust automotive sector, which features Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and a vast supply chain.
“Alabama is a powerhouse in automotive manufacturing, and Autocar’s new heavy-duty truck assembly operation in Birmingham will add a new dimension to the state’s activities in this vital sector,” Governor Ivey said.
“The company is making a significant investment in its Alabama operation and creating the kind of well-paying jobs that are a priority of my administration as we declare that Alabama is open for business,” she added.
‘Made in Alabama Product’
“We’re committed to bringing world-class companies like Autocar to Alabama, where they will discover an environment that allows them to flourish and find success.”
Autocar Chairman Andrew Taitz said the company carefully considered locations across the country before selecting the Birmingham area for its project. Reasons included “access to a great business environment, strong state and local governmental partners, a skilled workforce, and proximity to our customers and suppliers,” he said.
At the press conference, Taitz said the company’s extensive site selection process revealed that the Birmingham area had the “whole package” for the $120 million project.
“With this new million-square-foot plant in Birmingham and our new local employees, we’ll better meet the needs of our existing customers and be able to engineer new specialized products for different applications and markets,” Autocar President Jim Johnston said.
“We’re excited that Autocar brings a dynamic and growing new employment opportunity to your community, offering new manufacturing jobs and training,” he added.
Autocar, once fully operational, will generate $645.1 million annually in economic impact, which includes a nearly $229 million annual contribution to Alabama’s GDP and $130.1 million in earnings to Alabama households from 2,655 direct and indirect jobs, according to an impact study from the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.
“We’re committed to bringing world-class companies like Autocar to Alabama, where they will discover an environment that allows them to flourish and find success,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“We look forward to building a lasting partnership with the company and supporting its efforts to build another great ‘Made in Alabama’ product.”
Autocar has hired some employees to begin production, which were recruited, screened and trained by AIDT. The company is currently hiring assembly team members, team leaders, material handlers, fabricators and maintenance technicians. Available job openings can be found through AIDT, at www.aidt.edu. Average annual base compensation for all employees, ranging from management to production, will be $58,656.
Autocar worked closely with the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Jefferson County Commission, the City of Center Point, the City of Birmingham, AIDT, the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and others on this major economic development project, code named Project Sunrise.
“This is a great day for Birmingham as we welcome another major vehicle manufacturer to Alabama,” Birmingham Mayor William Bell said. “The automotive industry is strong in the Birmingham region and we look forward to working with Autocar on its future growth and with its suppliers looking to locate here.
“Our strong workforce and unmatched quality of life have helped us attract yet another world-class company.”
Center Point Mayor Tom Henderson said Autocar’s arrival is a huge boost for the city. The company will occupy the former Meadowcraft building on Pinson Valley Parkway, which has been empty since 2009.
“Autocar’s decision to locate a plant here is an important win for the Center Point community,” Henderson said.
The Birmingham region’s workforce and competitive cost of doing business continue to be strong selling points to attract business here, said Dr. Ray Watts, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and 2017 BBA Chairman.
“Autocar’s decision helps validate what we’ve known all along, that the Birmingham region provides a superior labor force, an unmatched quality of life, and a significantly lower cost of doing business, not just for manufacturing but for all types of businesses,” Watts said.