Mercedes-Benz Attracts Another Supplier to Tuscaloosa County, AL With 650 Jobs

The Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Plant in Tuscaloosa County has brought yet another Mercedes supplier to Alabama. This time, it is the Botzingen, Germany-based Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) that is establishing a presence in Tuscaloosa County in order to be close to the Mercedes assembly plant.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Plant in Tuscaloosa County, AL

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Plant in Tuscaloosa County, AL (photo – Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

Supported by the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA), the company is investing $150 million to establish a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Cedar Cove Technology Park located east of the city of Tuscaloosa, less than four miles from the Mercedes plant in Vance, AL.

SMP, which is one of the group companies of the Samvardhana Motherson Group (SMG), will operate the new venture in Alabama as SMP Automotive Systems Alabama Inc. The facility will produce exterior and interior components for future vehicle models produced at the Mercedes assembly plant.

In a release announcing the project, Governor Robert Bentley said that “We have worked hard to recruit well-paying jobs for the people of this state, and I am honored to see SMP expand to Alabama.”

Vivek Chaand Sehgal, chairman of the Samvardhana Motherson Group, said in the release that they are very excited to finally establish a footprint in the Tuscaloosa region. Sehgal added that the new plant will be a clear sign of a successful partnership with their customer and the state of Alabama.

This announcement by SMG follows on the heels of the $530 million investment plan announced earlier this month by Kamtek, another Mercedes supplier, for its operations in Birmingham, AL. These investments build on the $3.6 billion in auto-related investment that Alabama has received between 2012-2014. A lot of this growth is linked to the state’s fast-growing auto supplier network, which now includes more than 140 companies.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said in the release that the Alabama economic development team has targeted growth in the state’s auto supply chain because it serves to strengthen the industry’s foundation in the state.

Sec. Canfield added that developing partnerships with global suppliers like SMP reflects this strategy and sets the stage for additional job-creation and growth in Alabama’s advanced manufacturing sector.

In order to secure the project for Alabama, the state has offered the company a package of incentives totaling around $27 million, including tax benefits and support for workforce development. TCIDA, which manages the Cedar Cove Technology Park, has approved Tuscaloosa economic development incentives in the form of a 10-year tax abatement for the project.

SMG Managing Director and Head of Corporate Office Europe and Americas Andreas Heuser said in the release that they would like to thank TCIDA and Alabama for all the support provided to their Group. “I can say, that we feel very welcome and at home here in Tuscaloosa,” added Heuser.

TCIDA Executive Director Dara Longgrear likewise responded that the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority is pleased to welcome Samvardhana Motherson Group into their internationally-focused region and into one of the southern United States’ largest automotive clusters.

Botzingen, Germany-based Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) has more than 10,000 employees in facilities on four continents, and generated revenue approaching $2.5 billion last year. SMP is one of the group companies of Samvardhana Motherson Group (SMG), which has operations in 25 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East. The company’s wide range of products is manufactured in more than 170 facilities and 24 design centers around the world by over 70,000 employees.

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