BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A Michigan-based automotive supplier is relocating its North American headquarters from the Detroit area to McCalla, with plans to create up to 75 jobs.

G&B Global of Rochester, Mich., is investing $4.8 million in a 60,060-square-foot space it is leasing in the Jefferson Metropolitan Park McCalla that will become its new headquarters.

Ernie Young, vice president of marketing with G&B Global, said the company will supply interior switches, hubs and bearings and injection molded seating parts to General Motors, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz with plans to add other automakers and other industries.

“We’re planning on making a big move in the aerospace industry and bring more of that business to the state of Alabama,” he said. “We will also be making a move to supply the other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the area in addition to Mercedes-Benz.”

Apart from the headquarters, G&B has facilities in Asia.

The McCalla operation will ramp up quickly, Young said.

“Our goal is to start at 25 and grow that to upwards of 60 to 75 jobs,” he said.

He said the company is bringing in seven new Engel injection molding presses from Austria in July and has plans to get to 28 presses in the first 18 months of operations at McCalla.

The company plans to be up and running and will host an open house and ribbon cutting in September.

Ted vonCannon, executive director of the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Authority, which operates the JeffMet McCalla park, said the company is a welcome addition.

“We worked closely with the Birmingham Business Alliance to make this deal happen,” vonCannon said. “We’re glad to have them in JeffMet McCalla.”

Officials with the BBA said they were awaiting an official announcement from G&B before commenting.

G&B is taking the balance of space Graham & Co. had vacant in three multi-tenant industrial buildings at the park, bringing the total 920,920-square-foot properties to full occupancy.

Sonny Culp of Graham & Co. represented the landlord while Matthew Day of J.H. Berry & Gilbert Inc. represented G&B Global.

The new company is relocating to Jefferson County despite concerns vonCannon and others have raised over projects avoiding the county due to its municipal bankruptcy and ongoing financial crisis. VonCannon told the authority board on Thursday he knew of specific economic development projects that struck the county from its list of considered sites because of the financial turmoil.

But in an interview, vonCannon said the county’s financial issues make it difficult but not impossible to recruit new industry here, as G&B’s decision illustrates.

“Has it decimated us? No, I don’t think it has decimated us,” he said. “Has it hurt us? I don’t think there is any question about that.”

He said the financial problems mean economic developers in the county have to work even harder to try to win the projects they know about because there are likely many more that eliminate the county without economic developers ever knowing.

“Activity is pretty good right now,” vonCannon said. “We need to focus on those new projects and help existing companies expand while the county works through its issues.”

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