LEESBURG, Va. — Rehau announces the 25-year anniversary of establishing its production plant in Cullman, Alabama. The plant began operations in early 1996 with 30 employees producing bumpers for the 1997 sport utility vehicle of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI). The facility has expanded numerous times to its current footprint of about a million square feet with nearly 800 employees and currently operates as two separate plants – one specializing in automotive painted exterior components, the other in PEXa piping for plumbing and radiant heating systems and gaskets for household appliances.
“As I stand on the shoulders of the many talented and passionate plant managers who preceded me, I bear the responsibility of devoted stewardship expected of me, not only to preserve what is good among us and our business, but to also find ways to fully engage every single one of you to understand how we profit from our efforts, continuously improve, and support the profitable growth of REHAU in our region,” said Automotive Plant Manager Dr. Venki Padmanabhan, who joined REHAU in 2020, said,
In October 1994, construction began on a 200,000-square-foot facility located in Industrial Park II off Highway 69 that would be equipped with injection molding and painting technology. The plant was still ramping up production of its first vehicle model when, in October 1996, the company broke ground on an expansion that would nearly double its size. While continuing to participate in the growth of automotive production in the southeastern United States, in 2003, Plant Cullman began to produce crosslinked polyethylene (PEXa) pipe. This lead to the January 2006 announcement of plans to build a second plant for PEXa pipe production to open in May 2007. After weathering the 2008 economic downturn, the company celebrated yet another automotive plant expansion in April 2014 as it announced plans to build a technical center. In 2016, the construction plant ventured into the appliance business with the start-up of its first gasket production line.
“It is the strength of the workforce in Cullman that has allowed us to achieve this continual growth,” said Construction Plant Manager Maic von Thuelen, who began his Rehau career near his hometown in Brake, Germany, in 1993 and joined the Cullman team in 1998. “Rehau is a worldwide company that is well respected by the surrounding communities it supports – and most importantly – by its employees. When I was starting out, I was looking for an employer who would provide the training and development that would lead to a great career, and that’s what I found at Rehau.”
“Today we not only celebrate what we have achieved in Plant Cullman, but also those who have worked so tirelessly to help us achieve it,” said Padmanabhan. “When I ask team members what they find appealing about working here, the answer I get is that they like their co-workers. If we can create the conditions for that teamwork to result in an engaged and fun environment for each of you to grow in, our work as your management team is done.”