Top Headlines: Alabama tourism spurt, New Toyota Huntsville leader

Alabama sees tourism spurt in 2018
More than 27.7 million visitors came to Alabama in 2018, spending $15.5 billion, according to calculations announced by the Alabama Tourism Department. Gov. Kay Ivey announced the numbers Monday, saying that the total represents a million more visitors than in any previous year. Ivey also said she expects no dip in tourism following passage of a new abortion ban, despite protestors’ calls for a boycott. — Alabama Tourism Department; Associated Press

Mercedes eyeing shift in C Class production
Thomas Industry News is reporting that Mercedes may move C Class production out of Vance, just five years after adding production of the sedan at the facility that has specialized in SUV and crossover production. — ThomasNet

Japanese auto group refutes president’s statement on auto parts
Akio Toyoda, chairman of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, today refuted comments by President Trump, citing imported vehicles and auto parts as “threats to impair” the national security of the U.S. Japanese automakers have 24 plants, 45 research and design centers,and 39 distribution centers across 28 states, representing $51 billion investment, Toyoda said. In Alabama, Honda has a plant in Talladega and Toyota has an engine plant in Huntsville, with construction underway on a Mazda Toyota joint venture in Huntsville. — JAMA

Finch to lead Toyota Huntsville
David Finch, who spent 28 years with Toyota in South Africa before joining Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama as vice president in March, was named president of the engine facility, effective July 1. David Fernandes, who has been president of the Huntsville facility for three years, will move to Toyota South Africa Motors as senior vice president of manufacturing. — Toyota

Lockheed construction under way in Troy
Lockheed Martin began work on a new 225,000-square-foot missile facility in Troy. The facility, slated to build the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, should be complete in 2021. Lockheed already has a missile facility in Troy. — Area Development

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Strike possible at Drummond facilities in Colombia
A key union representing workers at Drummond mines in Colombia has rejected a contract offer, and workers could begin a multi-day vote on strike action later this week, according to reports by Montel, an information provider for European energy markets. Drummond, based in Birmingham, is one of Colombia’s biggest coal exporters. — Montel News

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