The world learned today that Autocar, the oldest truck manufacturer in the nation, is the company behind a $120 million project known for more than a year only as “Project Sunrise” that will create nearly 750 jobs with a new manufacturing plant in Birmingham’s Pinson Valley.
“Starting with 746 jobs, Autocar very quickly becomes one of the largest manufacturing employers in Jefferson County and the Birmingham area,” said Brian Hilson, CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance. “The $120 million initial investment also ranks it as one of the largest investments that we’ve seen here in quite some time and that we have throughout the state.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement moments ago along with officials with Autocar, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Jefferson County, the city of Birmingham and the city of Center Point.
“This project has been in the works for over two years for us,” Hilson said. “There is nothing better than seeing mayors of two cities, plus the county commission, plus the state lock arms right here in this room where we are today and sit across the table from the company and tell them we want you and we will do whatever is necessary to get you here.”
The more than 1 million-square-foot industrial site off U.S. Highway 79 is in the city limits of Birmingham and Center Point.
Autocar is the first U.S.-based automotive manufacturer to establish assembly operations in Alabama.
Hilson said the fact that the company is building trucks for the commercial market makes it different from the other automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the state.
“This is a good opportunity for Autocar to take advantage of the existing supplier base that we have that’s been established by the other OEMs that are here – Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai – but also to attract new and different suppliers as well,” he said.
Look for more from today’s announcement later today on Alabama NewsCenter.