German auto supplier Rehau AG + Co., will invest up to $3 million to build a North American technical center in Cullman, Ala., to support its expected growth in the region.
Rehau already has a molding operation in Cullman, and is in the midst of a $115 million expansion there. It supplies bumper assemblies for Daimler AG's Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Daimler currently is investing $2.4 billion in Alabama to increase production.
The technical center will allow Rehau to do more product development in North America, including component and design initiatives that the company can use not only in the U.S. but at all of its global plants, Rehau officials said in a Nov. 7 news release announcing the project.
Currently, new product development for the Rehau, Germany-based company is centered in Germany. Additional testing capabilities centered in Cullman will also eliminate the need to send prototype parts either to Germany or to Rehau's North American headquarters in Leesburg, Va.
The center will employ 45 engineers and is expected to open by spring 2015.