Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development. If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner.
Automotive company in Vance gets grant
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Brose, a German automotive parts supplier, received a check for $33,000 from the state of Alabama on Monday.
The money is a state grant to pay for site preparation for the expansion of the Brose plant at Tuscaloosa County's Legacy Industrial Park in Vance.
In November 2011, Brose announced plans for a $19.5 million plant expansion, The expansion will allow Brose to add production of seat structures, including headrests and door systems, for Mercedes-Benz' new C-Class sedans.
Mercedes is adding C-Class production to its Vance plant production in 2014.
NASA awards Dynetics contract to help develop advanced rocket booster
Published: Monday, October 01, 2012
By Lee Roop
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- NASA has awarded three contracts, including one to Huntsville's Dynetics Inc., to develop new approaches for a later, bigger version of the heavy-lift rocket the space agency is developing now. The total value of the contracts is $137 million, and Dynetics' part is $73.3 million.
NASA wants to up-size the heavy-lift rocket it is developing now at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center. That rocket will be able to lift 70 metric tons, enough to get astronauts to the moon or several other locations in deep space. But to get to Mars or any of the really distant targets, NASA needs 130-metric-ton capability to carry the water, food, fuel and other gear the astronauts will need. It is that massive, later rocket the three companies are trying to figure out a way to lift.
Dynetics is proposing a modern version of the F-1 rocket that lifted the Saturn V off the Earth en route to the moon.
Eight questions with new Marshall Space Flight Center Director Patrick Scheuermann
Published: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
By Lee Roop | firstname.lastname@example.org
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Patrick Scheuermann became Marshall Space Flight Center's 12th director Sept. 26 when NASA promoted him from his former post as director of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Scheuermann (pronounced Sherman) met with the Huntsville news media on his first day on the job, and here's how it went. This Q & A has been edited.
Scheuermann opened by offering some personal background. He's a native of New Orleans, an engineer by training, worked at Marshall earlier on the space shuttle engine program and ran NASA''s Michoud Assembly Facility outside New Orleans for two years before Stennis.
He took over at Michoud the day before Hurricane Katrina hit "and the next two years were a blur."
Volkswagen exec: U.S. needs to solve its fiscal problems
By Christine Tierney
The Detroit News
Oct. 1, 2012
Volkswagen AG decided this year to build a $1.3 billion Audi plant in Mexico instead of the U.S. because the terms were better, the head of Volkswagen's U.S. operations said Monday.
"By choosing Mexico for the new plant, Audi can avoid a 10 percent tariff on cars shipped to a host of countries that have trade agreements with Mexico, but not the U.S.," Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a speech at the Brookings Institution here.
Mexico was the logical choice because 70 percent of the Audi plant's premium models would be exported, and the U.S. offers fewer advantages for export-oriented factories, he said.
"The decision from an economic point of view is fairly clear today: In the auto sector at the very least, if the North American market can consume the vast majority of the production, then you can afford to build in the U.S.," he said.
But in that case, Browning added, there must be confidence in the future strength of the U.S. economy - and that is wavering because of the U.S. government's inability to tackle crucial economic challenges.
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