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Greetings!

 

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

 

In this issue:
Record-breaking Mercedes "on a roll" in U.S.
Birmingham meets federal air quality standards for first time in 30 years
Birmingham software firm Daxko acquires North Carolina app company
Governor Bentley begins chairmanship of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
OUR VIEW: Automobile industry shows it is very happy with Alabama as home
What are local economic developers looking for in 2013?

 


 

Record-breaking Mercedes "on a roll" in U.S.

By Christiaan Hetzner

NEW YORK | Tue Jan 8, 2013

 

(Reuters) - German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) expects to sell a record number of vehicles this year in the United States, a crucial growth market now that demand for the brand in China has tailed off sharply.

 

A rejuvenated model range led by the next-generation S-Class flagship sedan and the new CLA compact four-door coupe, both of which debut around September, should lift volumes to an all time high in 2013, according to a Mercedes executive.

 

"This brand is absolutely on a roll here in the United States. The issues we might be dealing with in Europe with recession and with China really have absolutely no spillover here," said Stephen Cannon, president of Mercedes-Benz USA, in an interview on Tuesday prior to next week's auto show in Detroit.

 

His sales region leapfrogged Germany last year to become the brand's single biggest market. Mercedes meanwhile saw its sales in China drop nearly 19 percent in December, leaving annual volumes largely stagnant.

 

Barring policy risks from the upcoming debt ceiling standoff in Washington, Cannon expects the overall U.S. passenger car market to continually improve this year, rising to around 15-15.5 million this year from 14.5 million in 2012.

 

 more...

 

[Reuters]

 


 


 

Birmingham meets federal air quality standards for first time in 30 years 
By Ben Raines | braines@al.com 
on January 09, 2013

The air in Birmingham just got a lot cleaner.

 

For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that Birmingham will be classed as "in attainment" of the six primary air quality standards measured by federal officials.

 

The city had reached compliance with most of the standards in recent years, but still had too much particulate matter floating in the air according to air quality tests. Particulate matter, typically described as soot, is associated with coal-burning power plants, car exhaust, and emissions from heavy industry, such as steel mills.

 

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management requested that the EPA classify Birmingham as being in attainment based on air testing conducted during the last several years. The testing showed that the city's air actually met the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter beginning in 2010.

 

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 


 


 

Birmingham software firm Daxko acquires North Carolina app company
By Stan Diel | sdiel@al.com 
on January 09, 2013 

 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Birmingham software company Daxko has acquired Active Life Apps, a North Carolina company that provides mobile apps for YMCAs. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

The deal will enable Daxko, whose clients include YMCAs, Jewish community centers and medical facilities, to better help clients build relationships with their customers, said David Gray, Daxko president and CEO.

 

"It's vital for our customers to extend their connections with members outside their facility walls," Gray said. "The acquisition of Active Life Apps is the first phase of an overall mobile strategy that will help deepen relationships with members, program participants, volunteers and donors - wherever they are - to achive greater community impact."

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 


 


 

Governor Bentley begins chairmanship of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
Story Created: Jan 10, 2013
 
MONTGOMERY - With a focus on responsible energy development, Governor Robert Bentley has accepted the chairmanship of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Governor Bentley is the first Alabama governor to serve as chairman of the IOGCC.

The IOGCC is a multi-state agency that advocates for environmentally-sound methods of increasing the supply of American energy. The goal of the IOGCC is to keep oil and gas regulation within the states while advocating responsible energy policies.

"A strong energy supply is crucial for job creation, for economic stability and for making oil and natural gas more affordable," Governor Bentley said. "We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil while making wise use of our domestic energy resources. As chairman of the IOGCC, I will work closely with other states on policies that help us achieve that goal."

more...





 

 

 

 


 

OUR VIEW: Automobile industry shows it is very happy with Alabama as home
By Birmingham News editorial board 
on January 09, 2013 

When considering the corporate philosophies of the German, Japanese and South Korean automobile manufacturing companies that have decided to make Alabama home, there's a wide range of cultures. But they among the world's most successful, to say the least.

 

As culturally diverse as these automakers may be, they have also adapted well to a key part of Alabama's culture.

The auto assembly lines operated by Germany's Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Japan's Honda in Lincoln and South Korea's Hyundai in Montgomery were shut down for Monday night's BCS National Championship Game between the University of Alabama and the University of Notre Dame.

 

True, most of the workers at the three plants are Alabamians. That's what makes the companies so vital to the state's economy. They provide thousands of good-paying jobs and spinoff thousands more through suppliers and support companies.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


 

What are local economic developers looking for in 2013?
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013

By Geoffrey Melcher | gmelcher@sandmountainreporter.com

 

Marshall County Economic Development Council President and CEO Matt Arnold says that the county's industry and employment have a lot to look forward to in 2013 as projects that will provide new jobs continue to pile on.

 

"I read in a Birmingham paper that Alabama's economy would be the second-fastest growing state economy in the first half of the year and I, along with the council, will be trying to build on that momentum," Arnold said.

"We've been working with a lot of new companies, including recently a construction materials company from Chicago, looking to pull the trigger on expansion or find the right industrial building.

"We have a few of those, including a unit of the Chandelier complex as well as the Ajax Tocco building in Boaz that was recently moved out of that can house a couple hundred employees per shift."

 

Along with newcomers Arnold works with on a day-to-day basis to accommodate their infrastructure needs, he says additions to the scope of operations in existing industries will also spur a stimulus that will be felt countywide.

 

"I know Color Masters is expanding their printing and moving their building to the old Kendall Mill. They had been buying their bags they did their plastic packaging printing on for a long time but they've acquired new facilities for Master Extruders, the new business that will make bags," he said. "Between those two projects, they have going on they will have to add around 100 new jobs." 

 

more...

 

[Sand Mountain Reporter]

 

 

 


 

 

 

 




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