Germany-based REHAU Plans Cullman, Alabama, Plant Expansion
The location recently secured a contract to build exterior polymer-based components for Mercedes-Benz’s Alabama-made SUV models. REHAU supplies components to the current Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS models of SUVs with conventional and plug-in hybrid drives made at the automaker’s sprawling manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa County.
“Twenty-five years ago, REHAU followed Mercedes-Benz AG to the U.S. from the Bavarian town of Rehau to Cullman, Alabama,” said Automotive Plant Manager Dr. Venki Padmanabhan. “We were one of their earliest partners in launching their first SUV. “Now, we are honored and excited that they have placed their faith in us once again to support the launch of their new models,” he added.
The capital investment and job creation made it possible for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to provide a $700,000 grant to the city of Cullman toward a $1 million road project to service the REHAU plant. The City and County Commission will split the cost of the remaining $300,000 to resurface and rehabilitate two miles of 24th Street that serves REHAU and other area industries.
“ADECA is pleased to have played a role in the success and expansion of the company through infrastructure grants to the city of Cullman,” said Kenneth Boswell, the agency’s director. “We congratulate REHAU not only on 25 years of operation in Cullman but also on its continued success and expansion into new lines, which will create even more jobs.”
The REHAU Group is a family-owned polymer business, which works in the fields of construction, industry and as an automotive supplier. The company employs roughly 20,000 people in more than 170 locations.
“REHAU’s growth in Cullman is a tribute to both the company and the Cullman community,” said Dale Greer, director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency. “The plant has not only become an integral part of our community; its success has also played a significant role in making Alabama one of the largest automobile producing states in America.”
The REHAU Cullman plant opened in early 1996 with 30 employees. A second plant producing PEXa pipe for heating and plumbing applications was opened in 2007 and a technical center was added in 2015. The operations have expanded numerous times to the current footprint of about 1 million square feet with nearly 800 employees.
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