German auto supplier Gerhardi opens its first North American plant, a $41.6 million facility in Montgomery, AL.
The company is a European market leader in the development and production of galvanized and technically sophisticated plastic parts.
Gerhardi Managing Director Rienhard Hoffman says up to 235 workers will be employed at the 107,640-sq.-ft. (10,000-sq-m) injection-molding, electroplating and assembly plant.
“Montgomery, Alabama, has proven itself as the perfect location for Gerhardi to introduce our processes and product to the automotive world in the U.S.,” Hoffman says in a statement.
Using injection molding, advanced electroplating and hot stamping, Gerhardi manufactures a variety of products including radiator grilles, handles and chrome trims for customers worldwide.
Gerhardi, founded in 1796, originally manufactured brass and copper buckles and then tea and coffee sets. By 1952 it began to shift focus to making automotive components. The company now is known for developing and producing interior and exterior plastic automotive parts.
Headquartered in Lüdenscheid, Germany, Gerhardi employs about 1,400 workers at four production plants in Germany with annual sales of about $200 million.
The decision to locate in Montgomery was made after a detailed site-selection process. The company says it opted for Alabama’s capital city because of its infrastructure and favorable traffic links.