Mercedes plant to get incentives up to $100 million

VANCE, Ala. (AP) - Mercedes-Benz will get as much as $100 million in incentives as it expands production at its automotive plant in Tuscaloosa County.

Governor Bob Riley's office said Wednesday the state and the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Board had worked together on the package, which takes effect in 2013.

The German car maker said it will shift some of its C-Class car production to Alabama from Germany. The move will mean about 1,000 new jobs at the Vance factory.

"This puts our Alabama plant in the best possible position to remain a strong economic force and job-creator for the long-term," said Riley. "It means the plant will be at its full capacity of almost 4,000 workers."

"This is obviously great news for our community and our entire state.  With leadership from the local, state and company level, we've helped to secure the long-term future of the Vance plant at a time when the auto industry overall faces a tough time," explained Dara Longgrear, Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority.

The incentives include $55 million for workforce training over 10 years and $20 million in grants over the same period. The administration said Mercedes also could get bonds through a program passed in 2005 to help in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)