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:


Airbus seat supplier Recaro opens shop in Mobile
By Kelli M. Dugan

With Airbus slated to deliver its first Mobile-assembled A321 to JetBlue, Germany-based Recaro Aircraft Seating Co. is the latest global firm to stake its claim at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.

"We're in an interiors phase," Roger Wehner, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, said, calling aircraft seats "customer-defined pieces of equipment" requiring close collaboration with other suppliers.

Recaro will be located in Building 11, which is part of the newest phase of the airport authority's Airbus Incubator Strategy offering low-cost, flexible solutions to attract suppliers to Mobile during Airbus' initial low rate of production.


Honda debuts redesigned Alabama-made Acura MDX

Honda debuted a redesigned 2017 Acura MDX luxury sport utility at the New York International Auto Show, making it the latest in a string of new or updated models joining production lines in Alabama.

The all-new MDX, which will be built at Honda's manufacturing plant in Talladega County, is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms this summer. The reengineered model features aggressive new styling, advanced-safety technology and an optional hybrid powertrain. It's the first Acura model to sport the brand's new "diamond pentagon" grille design.

"MDX is a pillar of the Acura brand, our highest volume model for seven years running, and the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time," John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., said at Wednesday's New York auto show unveiling.


Alagasco name will change to Spire
Tim Steere Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Mar 24, 2016

Alagasco will soon be changing its name.

The Laclede Group (NYSE: LG), which acquired Alagasco in 2014, said Thursday it is changing its name to Spire. The company said it will eventually change the names of all its natural gas subsidiaries, including Alagasco, to Spire.

Company leaders said the name better reflects what the St. Louis-based company is becoming.

"With all the pieces in place - the larger scale of our utility business, our focus on organic growth and our investments in infrastructure and emerging technology - we see no limit to what our energy can do for our customers, employees, shareholders and communities," said Suzanne Sitherwood, president and CEO of Laclede.


High Seas Adventure Travel
March 2016

She is 14, frightened, packed in a tiny ship, voyaging from France to Mobile. In 1704 the teenage Parisian set sail to take a husband she had never met. Today the transatlantic bride is a ghostly apparition, shimmering in a mirror, and telling her story at GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. "Don't be frightened," she says, assuring startled guests. But be amazed.

Joining the exhibit Pelican Girls are 90 full-feature exhibits, with rooms, dens, nooks and crannies chocked with nautical chronicles, interactive exhibits, stories of wave-lapping commerce that transformed the world. GulfQuest believes the world should know.

Commanding Mobile's Water Street, the 120,000-square-foot facility educates and dazzles landlubbers who had no idea. 


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