When news broke on July 3, 2012, that Airbus, the France-based aircraft producer, would build a $600 million assembly facility in Mobile – its first manufacturing location in America – the economic outlook for Alabama’s economy improved by an estimated $409 million. The addition of Airbus in south Alabama adds a new layer to the depth of Alabama Department of Commerce projects that have placed the state on the international radar of organizations looking to establish operations in North America.
For many reasons, Alabama is a prime spot for industrial development. It offers surface and rail infrastructure, an easily navigable river system that leads to an active shipping port, as well as a year-round temperate climate and abundant natural resources.
From the Alabama Department of Commerce website:
“A study by Auburn University economics professor Keivan Deravi projected that the plant will have an annual economic impact of $409 million on the state economy. The vast majority of that money will benefit Mobile County, which is projected to see an additional $348 million in annual economic activity when the plant reaches full employment. The project should generate an additional $43 million in annual retail sales, 500 new housing units and boost property tax revenue by $126,000 annually, Deravi said.
Deravi said the project has the potential to transform Alabama in the same way that the automotive industry has remade the state economy. Alabama, which never produced an automobile prior to 1997, has seen a wave of new automotive assembly plants following the 1993 decision by Mercedes-Benz to build vehicles in Vance, Ala.”
Decisions such as those made by Airbus, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota, to establish operations in Alabama are the result of intense collaboration and planning by state and local government, business, and private individuals. In 1993, nearly 70 years after arriving in Alabama, The Westervelt Company sold 773 acres to the Alabama Department of Commerce to accommodate the Mercedes-Benz site. Today we are excited by the prospect of our state’s improved economy and business climate, and continue to work economic development boards and offices to identify whether or not we can provide land for eventual project sites.
It is a great honor to participate on teams dedicated to improving our state’s economy and quality of life for Alabamians.