Top Headlines: Alabama-made vehicles top list, Pike County project grant

Four Alabama-made Hondas in top 10 American-Made Index
Four Alabama-made vehicles have been named in the top 10 of the 2019 American-Made Index, a list of new models that contribute the most to the U.S. economy, as compiled All four are built at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama’s $2.6 billion, 4,500-worker auto assembly plant in Talladega County. The Odyssey minivan was ranked No. 2, followed by the Ridgeline pickup at No. 3, the Passport SUV at No. 4 and the Pilot SUV at No. 7. – Made In Alabama

Mexican official tells Toyota in Alabama tariffs are ‘off the table’
One of Mexico’s top diplomats came to Alabama Tuesday to reassure automakers and other industries that tariffs on Mexico’s supply chains to American companies are “off the table” and business is normal. “Any kind of uncertainty, whether it’s (caused) by political reasons or not creates a situation that we need to take care of,” Southeast Consul General Javier Diaz said in a Huntsville press conference. He said his government is reaching out to automakers like Toyota in meetings in Huntsville and elsewhere “to move forward.” –

Hold my beer: Fireworks sales to top $1.3 billion in 2019
The fireworks business receives most of its revenue in the lead-up to the Fourth of July holiday. That revenue has surged recently. Between consumer purchases and what the industry calls “display fireworks,” sales across the industry will top $1.3 billion this year. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) is the fireworks industry association. Among other things, it keeps industry statistics. The 2019 number is based on modest growth from 2018 figures. For last year, consumer purchases reached $945 million. Display fireworks hit $360 million. – USA Today

Pike County getting $500,000 grant for sawmill project
The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced a half-million grant to speed a multi-million dollar development in Pike County. The department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced it is awarding a $500,000 grant to Pike County for infrastructure improvements. Rex Lumber Co. is constructing a $110 million sawmill operation in Pike County that will employ 110 people. The project was announced last year. –

Roberts Brothers acquires Island Property Management
Roberts Brothers Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, on Tuesday announced the acquisition of the high-end vacation rental company Island Property Management. Roberts Brothers will now merge IPM into its existing management division. The expansion comes a year after Roberts Brothers opened its newly renovated real estate office in Orange Beach. – News release

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Samford University nursing school to receive $3.5M grant
Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing will receive $3.5 million over a four-year period to place nurse practitioner graduates in rural, underserved areas for primary care residency. The grant is the largest in Samford University’s history. The grant is designed to prepare new nurse practitioners to deliver high-quality primary care in community-based settings. – News release

As predicted, auto sales cooled off in first half of 2019
U.S. automakers reported a dip in sales for the first half of 2019 on Tuesday as higher vehicle costs offset generally solid economic conditions. General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota all experienced drops in sales through the year’s midpoint, although Fiat Chrysler won a modest gain in sales in June. The results were roughly in line with analyst forecasts and reflective of an auto market that has cooled somewhat but remains at solid levels, especially for larger autos. – Yahoo News

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