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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:
Mercedes-Benz kicks off production of the new C-Class
Regions Bank loaned $1.3 billion for Alabama economic development in 2013, boosting program to $1.5 billion in 2014
For the first time, Honda's U.S. exports surpass imports from Japan (Driving Alabama)
Q&A with Chamber chair, BlueCreek Investment Partners CEO Robert Mayes on goals for Huntsville in 2014
Snow and ice sink January's U.S. auto sales; slight gains for Alabama-built models

 


Mercedes-Benz kicks off production of the new C-Class


 

Mercedes-Benz has officially launched production of the redesigned C-Class at its plant in Bremen, Germany, the automaker said today.

 

Production of the new sedan will begin at three other plants around the world within six months, including the company's Alabama plant.

It also will be built at Mercedes factories in South Africa and China.

The 12,700-employee Bremen plant is controlling all aspects of the C-Class launch, and employes from the other sites have been traveling there for training.

 

The new C-Class is larger yet lighter than its predecessor, with updated luxury appointments and safety systems that reflect its maturing role for the automaker.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 



Regions Bank loaned $1.3 billion for Alabama economic development in 2013, boosting program to $1.5 billion in 2014
Feb. 4, 2014

 

 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Regions Bank exceeded its $1 billion inaugural commitment from its new Alabama Economic Development Loan Pool in 2013 by $300 million and has decided to boost the pool to $1.5 billion in 2013, the company will announce today.

 

Regions established the loan pool in February 2013, earmarking $1 billion to provide economic development capital to support job growth in Alabama in 2013. The loan pool had exceeded the $1 billion mark by September, helping companies expand and projects get started.

 

By year's end, the loan pool had reached an estimated $1.3 billion and initial data shows those funds are being used to create 2,000 new jobs and preserve even more existing jobs at more than 350 companies and entities throughout the state.

 

For 2014, Regions is renewing and expanding its commitment by earmarking $1.5 billion for the Alabama Economic Development Loan Pool. The funding will support businesses and entities that are growing, modernizing or expanding in Alabama and adding jobs in the process.

 

more...


[al.com]

 

 

 

 


For the first time, Honda's U.S. exports surpass imports from Japan (Driving Alabama)

on February 4, 2014 

Record production for Honda in North America last year helped the Japanese automaker become a net exporter in the U.S. for the first time.

 

The company exported 108,705 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles to countries around the world, while it imported 88,537 vehicles from Japan. Output at its seven auto plants in North America topped 1.78 million vehicles, including 1.31 million at U.S. factories.

The milestone underscores the company's investment in the region, including its auto assembly plant in Talladega County. That plant finished 2013 with 333,556 vehicles produced, just shy of its record 2012 output.

 

The Alabama plant produced more than 20,000 vehicles for export to 49 countries.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 


Q&A with Chamber chair, BlueCreek Investment Partners CEO Robert Mayes on goals for Huntsville in 2014

on February 4, 2014 

 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Looking out at a crowd of more than 1,000 residents and business leaders last month, BlueCreek Investment Partners CEO Robert Mayes weighed the significance of his new role with the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.

 

Mayes accepted the gavel as the 2014 board chair from outgoing leader and Regions Bank Area President Ron Poteat last month at the Chamber's annual meeting at Von Braun Center North Hall. 

 

"BlueCreek is a small business," he said. "We have less than 20 employees. To think that a Chamber of our size with lots of big companies gives an opportunity for a small business owner to have an impact and to contribute in a meaningful way - that says a lot."

 

Mayes, 56, sat down with AL.com on Monday to talk about the year ahead, his goals as Chamber chairman, recruiting new industry to Huntsville, building a city that is attractive to young professionals and debunking misconceptions outsiders have about the Rocket City. 

 

more...

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


Snow and ice sink January's U.S. auto sales; slight gains for Alabama-built models 

February 3, 2014 

Harsh winter weather across the country put a chill on January's U.S. auto sales.

 

Automaker reports issued today showed total sales of light vehicles sank 3 percent from a year ago, to 1.01 million, according to Autodata Corp.

But combined sales of the eight models produced in Alabama for the U.S. market rose slightly, up 1.4 percent from January 2013.

 

Strong performances by the Acura MDX (+65 percent), Hyundai Elantra (+26 percent) and Honda Odyssey (+16.6 percent) helped offset big tumbles by the Hyundai Sonata (-26 percent), Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (-23.5 percent) and Honda Pilot (-16 percent).

 

Analysts blamed the deep freeze that stretched across the U.S. last month for the poor showing. 2013 was the industry's best year since 2007, with total sales of 15.6 million; the total is expected to top 16 million this year.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 




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