Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday announced that global auto supplier Grupo Antolin plans to invest nearly $10.4 million to establish a manufacturing facility in Jefferson County that will employ 150 people by 2020.
The Birmingham area location will add to Spain-based Grupo Antolin's extensive worldwide operating footprint, which includes 161 production plants and 25 technical and commercial offices in 26 countries.
Antolin Alabama Inc. will locate its facility in an existing building at Jefferson Metropolitan Park in McCalla, with a build-out expected to begin in early March. Total investment in the project is projected to be $10.35 million. The average hourly wage for Alabama workers is estimated at $19.13.
"Creating jobs and opportunity for Alabama citizens remains my top priority, and Grupo Antolin's decision to open a manufacturing facility in Jefferson County aligns perfectly with that," Governor Robert Bentley said. "It's encouraging to see top-performing companies in the auto manufacturing industry select Alabama."
Grupo Antolin develops, designs and manufactures interior components for most of the world's biggest automakers. Founded in a garage in Burgos, Spain, in 1950, the company has grown to become one of the largest players in the car interiors market, with 28,000 employees and annual sales topping $4 billion.
The industrial group's factories produce a wide range of products to outfit automobile interiors including doors, seats, lighting fixtures, cockpits and trim. The company says its headliners are found in one in four automobiles in the world.
"Alabama represents a very attractive place for the automotive industry. In the last few years, this sector has grown very much and has attracted many companies that are creating a perfect environment for this industry," said Pablo Baroja, president of Grupo Antolin in North America.
Grupo Antolin is joining a dynamic and expanding auto sector in Alabama, which includes three assembly plants, a major engine plant, and a broad-based network of suppliers. Auto-related investment in Alabama topped $8 billion in a recent five-year period, while industry employment jumped 63 percent.
"Alabama's auto manufacturing sector continues to grow robustly as the industry supply chain expands throughout the state with significant new investment and job creation," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "Grupo Antolin is an important player in this global industry and a welcome addition to the state's auto supplier network."
In addition to the state, Grupo Antolin's North America unit worked closely with officials in Jefferson County, Alabama Power Co. and the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) on the company's expansion project.
"The entire Jefferson County Commission is excited to have Grupo Antolin North America join the ever-growing roster of manufacturing companies located at the County's Jeff Met Industrial Park in McCalla," Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington said. "In particular, the addition of 150 new jobs and the more than $10 million in capital investment provides further evidence of the county's ongoing growth in the automotive supply chain sector."
Located between a Mercedes-Benz assembly plant to the west and a Honda assembly operation to the east, the Birmingham region has become a prime destination for auto suppliers.
"We are excited to welcome Grupo Antolin to the thriving Birmingham region," said Dr. Ray Watts, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and 2017 chairman of the BBA. "Companies are recognizing that Birmingham is a welcoming environment for the automotive industry. As a result, companies from around the world are bringing well-paying jobs to our region."