Photo: Autocar
From left to right, Josh Carpenter with the City of Birmingham; Lee Smith of BBVA Compass and the Birmingham Business Alliance; Brantley Fry of Sen. Doug Jones' (D-AL) office; Center Point, AL Mayor Tom Henderson; Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey; Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight; Autocar President James M. Johnston; Autocar Chairman Andrew Taitz; and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL).

Autocar's new Alabama plant 'fully operational'

April 23, 2018
Hagerstown, IN-based Autocar Trucks hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at its manufacturing plant in Alabama, which the OEM said is now fully operational.

Hagerstown, IN-based Autocar Trucks hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at its manufacturing plant in Alabama, which the OEM said is now fully operational.  The facility was announced last September.

The plant is located in a 1 million sq. ft. complex in both Center Point and Birmingham, AL and is expected to create 746 jobs. Autocar said it has hired more than a third of that amount already and is recruiting additional team members across production, engineering, and management roles.

Autocar noted it expects to invest $120 million in the Jefferson County plant, where its severe-duty ACX cab-over-engine truck model is built. In related news, the company also announced it will be the first truck manufacturer to offer Cummins' X12 12L diesel engine in the ACX and will begin taking those orders in June.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight and Center Point Mayor Tom Henderson attended the ribbon-cutting along with Autocar Chairman Andrew Taitz and President Jim Johnston.

"Autocar already has a significant impact on Jefferson County and will continue to do so with this new manufacturing plant," said Gov. Ivey. "Autocar, and its expansion because of its success, is a fantastic representation of our commitment to help businesses not just survive but thrive."

Check out video from the plant below: 

Since the plant's announcement last fall, the team there has built trucks for customers in 46 states and provinces, the company said. Helping build the trucks are 54 local companies that Autocar has employed since the announcement. With the plant's announcement, Autocar became Alabama's fourth major motor vehicle OEM assembly plant; Toyota-Mazda has announced a plant in Huntsville, bringing a fifth vehicle OEM to Alabama.

"Nine months ago, we set out to bring the production of an American-owned, American-made truck to the great state of Alabama — and to do it not over the course of years, but months," said Autocar Chairman Andrew Taitz during the ceremony.

Autocar was founded in 1897 and stakes its claim as the oldest motor vehicle brand in the United States, building the nation's first truck in 1899 and pioneering "many technical innovations" since that are now common in all cars and trucks.

Autocar is expected to generate $645.1 million annually, which includes a nearly $229 million annual contribution to Alabama's gross domestic product and $130.1 million in earnings to Alabama households from 2,655 direct and indirect jobs, according to an impact study from the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama's Culverhouse College of Commerce.

"The City of Birmingham is proud to be part of the team that brought Autocar to the Birmingham region," said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. "The company has had a great impact on the city and our residents. We look forward to the opportunities to come."

Center Point Mayor Tom Henderson said the city is also feeling the positive impact from Autocar's move there. "Center Point is proud to have Autocar call our city home," he said. "The rewards of having this company — and any of its suppliers in the future — in our community will be realized for our citizens for many years to come."

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