Spain-based auto supplier Truck & Wheel Group revealed its 127, 000-square-foot manufacturing site March 9 in Vance, drawing Gov. Kay Ivey and Mercedes-Benz Alabama operations chief Jason Hoff, among others, to the festivities.
Truck & Wheel USA Plant Manager Antonio Montoro thanked the town of Vance and the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority for their support in the $30 million project, expected to create more than 70 jobs.
It’s the first U.S. operation for Truck & Wheel, which wants to expand its market as a Tier 1 supplier. The highly automated Vance factory will assemble, sequence and balance wheels for delivery to automotive assemblers.
Truck & Wheel began in Europe in 1998 and now operates two dozen branches with nearly 1, 000 workers there. The company is one of the major logistics operators in Spain and Portugal, and it operates centers in France and Germany. It expanded its presence in Mexico with the opening of a new plant in 2015.
Gov. Kay Ivey put rare philosophical distance between herself and President Donald Trump at the event, throwing shade on his aluminum and steel tariffs.
“Alabama’s economy is driven in large measure by advanced manufacturing in automotive and aerospace firms, and both of those utilize a great deal of steel and aluminum, ” Ivey told reporters. “These tariffs could likely be a disruptive factor between Alabama and other countries, when you break up that two-way trading partnership.”
The Truck & Wheel facility was developed by real estate firm Graham & Co., with Cooper Construction serving as the general contractor.
text by Dave Helms