BY MICHELLE KEY
OPELIKA — Miele Manufacturing Inc. is set to invest an estimated $657 million and create at least 837 full-time jobs in Opelika.
During Tuesday night’s Opelika City Council meeting, the council held a public hearing pertaining to a development agreement between the city of Opelika and Miele, a Delaware corporation.
The city of Opelika issued a press release regarding the development.
“We are excited to announce the arrival of Miele to our vibrant community,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller in the release. “We are committed to fostering innovation, creating high-quality jobs and contributing to the economic growth of our community. Together, we look forward to a future filled with shared success and lasting positive impact.”
According to the agreement, Miele Manufacturing will be leasing warehouse and office spaces on Orr Avenue in Opelika and will construct and operate an appliance manufacturing facility in the Northeast Industrial Park, also in the city limits, which will require an estimated capital investment of $657 million in developing, constructing and equipping the project with additional capital investments in the future. The project consists collectively of the leasing of the warehouse and office space and the acquisition, construction and equipping of the new facility. Miele estimates that it will initially employ at least 170 full-time employees in the city of Opelika, with the additional job creation in the future.
The company announced its decision to expand its production to the American continent in a press release dated March 29, 2023.
According to the release, the company said that there are several good reasons behind the decision to produce in the US.
“Even today, the United States represents Miele’s biggest market outside Germany, with considerable growth rates recently but still plenty of potential”, said Dr. Axel Kniehl, executive director marketing and sales with the Miele Group.
The release also says that manufacturing locally is a logical step and dispenses with the need to ship appliances across the Atlantic.
“This reduces delivery times from currently up to 10 weeks to only a few days, whilst at the same time protecting the environment”, said Dr. Stefan Breit, executive director technology.
Opelika is the first location chosen by Miele in the United States.
“Miele is one the world’s most iconic brands, and we’re thrilled to have this great company select Alabama as the home for its first U.S. manufacturing facility,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Miele is a wonderful addition to our state’s business community, and I look forward to the day when its new Opelika facility is turning out first-class ‘Made in USA’ appliances coming from Alabama.”
In consideration for the obligations of Miele under the agreement, the city agreed, among other things, to provide financial incentives to the company, described more particularly in the agreement, including, without limitation, cash incentives, job performance incentives, tax abatements and infrastructure improvements. The city agreed to design and construct a deceleration lane on Andrews Road to improve roadway traffic into the new facility. In addition, the city agreed to design and construct a new street to be named “Miele Drive” at the new facility site. The city agreed to waive all planning, construction and building permit fees related to the project. Also, the city agreed to reimburse the company up to $100,000 for water and wastewater (sewer) access and connection fees associated with the facility.
Miele was found in 1899 and is headquartered in Germany. The company introduced its Model A washing machine with a lid-mounted agitator in 1903, and its first model with an electric motor was sold in 1910. Over the next several decades the company continued to expand and improve its products, introducing coal and gas powered, large capacity machines designed laundry facilities in hotels, restaurants, hospitals and more and also include a spin dryer in 1925.
Washing machines, vacuum cleaners and bicycles — both pedaled and motorized — dominated production for the next three decades.
Miele produced its first electric tumble clothes dryer in 1958 and dishwashers in 1963.
The 1970s brought new built in appliances such as ranges with oak fronts which could be stained in various shades and microwave ovens.
Computerized washing machines and dryers were brought to market in 1981, and improved dishwashers and ovens with integrated microwaves finished out the ’80s.
After the turn of the century Miele continued to update its appliances with new technologies, added products such as cleaning supplies and fully automatic countertop coffee makers to its inventory and introduced its first steam ironing system with an ‘active’ ironing table. The patented 1-2-lift system, which allows the ironing table to folds away effortlessly has many Miele-exclusive features. The company also added a robot vacuum cleaner.
The company offers a wide array of appliances equipped with some of the newest technology available.
In order to further reduce CO2 emissions, the majority of supplier parts will also come from the USA.
About Miele Miele is the world’s leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilizers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland, as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries and regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 22,300. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphal.
The USA headquarters is located in Princeton, New Jersey.