An Alabama-based automotive company will add a new $4.2 million facility in Cottondale, where more than 100 workers will create interior automotive systems to supply the Mercedes Benz U.S. International plant in Vance.

Tax incentives for the expansion of SMP Automotive Systems Alabama Inc. were approved Tuesday afternoon during a meeting of the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority.

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Dipin Sharma, the Regional Chief Financial Officer for SMP, joined the meeting to thank the TCEDA for approving a little more than $260,000 in tax abatements to make the expansion possible.

Sharma said the expansion will sustain SMP's ability to provide jobs in the community and open the door to even more expansion in the future.

"Tuscaloosa County is proud to be the home to now three SMP facilities,” said TCIDA Chairman Mark Crews. “This project enhances the company’s footprint in our community while enhancing job opportunities and advancements for our citizens.”

SMP Automotive first announced it would come to Tuscaloosa County in 2015 and broke ground on its first plant in the Cedar Cove technology park the following year. They built a second plant in Brookwood in 2019.

According to the TCEDA, SMP currently employs more than 1,900 people in Tuscaloosa County.

The new facility will be adjacent to the Cedar Cove plant in Cottondale/Coaling -- SMP plans to purchase an existing building located next to Plant 1’s site to establish a new facility. It will only create four new jobs, but around 100 employees from SMP's Plant 1 will be moved into the new facility.

Work on the new Cottondale plant is expected to begin next week on April 5th. According to the TCEDA, work should be finished by the end of June and the new facility at 11005 Ed Stephens Road will be in service on July 10th.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more information as it becomes available.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story was not clear about the nature of SMP's expansion in Cottondale -- the automotive group will purchase an existing building once used by Inteva, a former Mercedes supplier, and spend $4.2 million on equipment and materials to renovate the facility. They are not building a new facility from the ground up.

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