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Birmingham Business Journal: Transit bus company invests $25M in Alabama plant expansion

Alabama’s big week on the economic development front continues, as a North American transit bus manufacturer said it is expanding operations in eastern Alabama.

New Flyer has launched a $25 million project to upgrade its production campus in Anniston.

The company is adding fabrication equipment to increase the plant’s capacity and improve operations.

The project will also include a Vehicle Innovation Center made up of a manufacturing lab, exhibit space and training areas. It will be developed with New Flyer sister company, Motor Coach Industries, as well as Siemens, ABB and Alabama Power. The center will open in October.

The other elements of the project should be complete by June 2018.

The expansion will add 76,000 square feet to New Flyer’s five buildings for a total footprint of almost 380,000 square feet.

“Repairing infrastructure through advanced technology is paramount to America’s competitiveness, safety and prosperity,” said Wayne Joseph, president of New Flyer of America. “Through New Flyer’s investment in advanced engineering and manufacturing, we have the potential to dramatically transform the future of public transportation in the U.S.”

The Anniston campus used to be North American Bus Industries until New Flyer bought it in 2013. The company invested $20 million in the campus in 2015 to produce its Xcelsior heavy-duty bus platform.

“New Flyer’s decision to locate its Vehicle Innovation Center in Anniston aligns perfectly with our goal of extending the state’s prowess in advanced manufacturing into high-level activities such as R&D and design,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We love seeing great ‘Made in Alabama’ products, but we also want see great ‘Designed in Alabama’ products.”

The Anniston campus currently employs 750 people.

“New Flyer of America is proud to expand our leadership role in evolving public transportation with buses engineered and built right here in Alabama,” said Joseph.

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