Gerhardi will build its new plant on the 50-acre site in the northwest corner of the Montgomery Industrial Park. (EDPA)
Company officials were joined by those from the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce along with state and local leaders in making the announcement at the site this morning.
“This is a tremendous win for Montgomery,” Mayor Todd Strange said. “Gerhardi could have chosen any place in North America to locate this facility and they chose the ‘Capital of Dreams.’ This shows that we are not only excelling nationally, we are also continuing to boost our global presence.”
Construction on the new Gerhardi plant will begin in 2017 and production is expected to start in 2019.
“It goes without saying that in terms of economic development this is a victory for Montgomery, but equally significant is why we were chosen,” said Montgomery Chamber Chairman Bruce Crawford. “In Montgomery, they saw a place that could uphold their high standards of excellence. It is certainly exciting to know that we are part of an organization so firmly rooted in the future.”
Blair King, economic development project manager with Alabama Power who worked on the Gerhardi recruitment, said the company represents an important component to the auto industry’s momentum.
“The growth in Alabama’s automotive sector has been so impressive not only because of the continued expansion of our OEMs, but also with the expansion and addition of Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers,” King said. “The addition of great companies like Gerhardi speaks to the real health and momentum of the auto industry in this state with another German company putting their first facility outside Germany, in Alabama.”
Gerhardi, founded in 1796 and headquartered in Lüdenscheid, started out making brass and copper buckles before expanding into tea and coffee sets. By 1952, it turned its focus to making parts for the auto industry. It now makes interior and exterior components at four plants throughout Germany, employing 1,400 workers.
“This is a company that has both a rich history and a solid reputation for being on the cutting edge of the future. Their investment in the River Region speaks volumes about what we have to offer,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean. “We are able to land projects of this magnitude because we work together as a community. Now Gerhardi is part of that community and we will do everything we can to support our new friend and partner.”