September 22, 2017 (full link below)
Mercedes kicks off project to build Bibb County global logistics hub
Mercedes-Benz officially launched construction this morning on a Global Logistics Center and a North American parts hub based in Bibb County’s Scott G. Davis Industrial Park, a project that will give a massive boost to the rural area.
The Bibb County logistics campus is an element of the $1 billion expansion announced Thursday that will also see Mercedes build a battery facility and launch electric vehicle production at its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant.
The Bibb County project involves an investment of $248.9 million and will create 429 jobs,
Officials from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Bibb County and the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the logistics node at the Bibb County site this morning.
The new 800,000-square-foot Global Logistics Center will support the automaker’s worldwide logistics operations connected with products made at its Alabama manufacturing center. It will supply overseas assembly plants with what’s called “car-kits” that allow Mercedes to produce vehicles for local markets around the world.
In addition, a new 1.3 million-square-foot after-sales North American hub will be co-located with the Global Logistics Center to provide spare parts to markets abroad. This will allow Mercedes to meet rising market demands amid its growing variety of production models.
“Mercedes-Benz has changed the face of Alabama over the last 20 years and will continue to do so for many more with its announcements this week,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “This Bibb County project means good-paying jobs in one of the state’s most rural counties, and income for households that need it.
“We look forward to working hand-in-hand with Mercedes as it charts its future course in the global automotive industry and demonstrates that Alabama is a great home for world-class companies,” she added.
Once fully operational, the new Bibb County campus will provide $307.9 million in economic impact annually for the state, including contributing $109.2 million to the State’s GDP and $62.4 million in earnings to Alabama households from direct and indirect jobs, according to an economic impact study from the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research.
Mercedes said operations in the Global Logistics Center, which will feature advanced new IT systems to support lean processes, are scheduled to begin in 2019. The after-sales hub is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.
“Mercedes’ new Global Logistics Center in Bibb County represents a significant expansion of the company’s industrial footprint in Alabama, which is home to its only North American production center,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“This project and jobs being created are a massive boost for Bibb County, a rural county that’s seeing its fortunes being lifted by the growth of the state’s auto industry,” he added.
The Mercedes logistics operation will elevate Bibb County’s profile in the state’s expanding auto industry.
While the rural county had largely missed out on the industry’s presence, it scored a major project in 2016 from MollerTech, a German auto supplier that invested $46 million to establish an 150,000-square-foot manufacturing operation in the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park.
The facility is expected to have 222 employees at full production.
“Mercedes-Benz has already had a major impact on the Birmingham region and we welcome their expansion here,” said Lee Smith, East Region Executive for BBVA Compass and the incoming 2018 BBA chairman.
“This move puts Mercedes-Benz closer to an accessible labor market and invigorates one of our region’s most rural counties.”
Bibb County Commissioner Ricky Hubbard said Mercedes’ decision to locate its logistics campus in the county will have a significant impact.
“Mercedes has been a great neighbor for many years and has provided jobs for so many people in our area. Today, we are happy to have a closer partnership with Mercedes to work toward our success.”