November | 2020
AGP Conversation with Christoph Dörr, European Office Director for Alabama Department of Commerce Office in Stuttgart, Germany
Join us for a conversation with Alabama Department of Commerce’s European Office Director:

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CST
ZOOM Webinar

We will cover a variety of topics about the Alabama Department of Commerce's decision to place an office in Stuttgart, Germany; expected activities for the office, European foreign investment in Alabama, industry focus, and much more. We will be joined by the Alabama Department of Commerce's Bob Smith, Assistant Director for European Strategy, and Christoph Dörr, European Office Director; and moderator Bobby Ingram, Chair, AlabamaGermany Partnership. 

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
AGP Founding Chairman Rex J. Lysinger Passing

It is with the deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the passing away of one of our founding AGP members, and the first chair of our organization, Rex J. Lysinger. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Remarks by past AGP chair Lamar Smith:

Retired Chairman of Energen Corporation and Founding Chairman of AGP, Rex J. Lysinger, passed away on October 1 at age 83 at his home in Destin.  His move to Florida almost two decades ago enabled him to play his beloved tennis year-round. 

After serving as Chairman of the Birmingham International Festival’s “Salute to Germany” in 1997, Rex was determined that the relationships that were developed would endure. He was particularly impressed with the personal attention that German Ambassador Juergen Crobog gave to the Salute. 

Rex suggested that a statewide organization should be formed to recognize the friendship and business opportunities between Germany and Alabamians. He pledged the organization would have his personal support as well as the resources of Alagasco/Energen. At a formative meeting held in Montgomery, the response from those attending was overwhelmingly positive with commitments of manpower and resources. Rex was very pleased with the success of AGP and all are grateful for his vision more than two decades ago. 

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Expanding....Again!
By Erica Joiner West, Southern Automotive Alliance
The Mercedes EQC 4×4², an electric SUV made for individuals who want the option of going offroad in style. The Alabama plant is gearing up to start production of electric vehicles, like this one, in the near future.
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MUBSI), in Vance, Alabama, is expanding again. According to news reports citing the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, a 500,000-square-foot facility is slated to be complete in 2022, that will add approximately 370 jobs to Tuscaloosa County.

The facility will be used as a storage and sequence facility for parts used in electric vehicles. Its completion will follow the construction of MBUSI’s Global Service Parts Warehouse in Woodstock, Alabama, that will house all vehicle service parts for dealerships and service centers in regards to vehicles originally built at MBUSI.

Airbus Delivers First Mobile-Made A220 Aircraft to Delta
By John Sharp,
The Airbus Mobile plant unveiled another milestone in its five years of producing airplanes in Alabama: The first delivery of the single-aisle jets called the A220.

The European-based aircraft manufacturer announced Thursday that the first of the U.S.-assembled A220 aircraft, built in Mobile, had been delivered to Delta Air Lines. Airbus is targeting to build four A220-series airplanes per month by the middle of the decade.

“The delivery of the first U.S.-built A220-300 is a historic moment that highlights Airbus' growing industrial footprint in North America and makes us all extremely proud,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman & CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc. “We look forward to seeing passengers delighted by the experience of traveling on board this brand new A200-300 proudly built in Mobile, Alabama.”

Alabama business leaders meet with Ambassador Lighthizer, key trade official at Mercedes-Benz manufacturing complex in Vance
By Made in Alabama
From Left: Governor Kay Ivey - Michael Göbel, CEO & President, MBUSI - Ambassador Lighthizer
Governor Kay Ivey and a group of Alabama industrial leaders on Friday, October 16, hosted Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing complex for a high-level discussion on the Trump Administration’s trade and economic growth policies.

Ambassador Lighthizer shared details about the Administration’s trade goals and heard from the Alabama business delegation during an hour-long event featuring a roundtable discussion at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Visitor Center.

“Ambassador Lighthizer provided valuable insights about how the Administration is moving to return manufacturing to the U.S. and create middle-class jobs across the nation,” Governor Ivey said.
“He has been a fierce advocate for Alabama over the past three years, and it was beneficial for our business leaders to exchange ideas with him.”

Top 50 US Companies in Germany
By AmCham Germany
Positive development of economic relations between Germany and the US despite the challenging economic situation: Economists expect a strong upswing if there is no second lockdown

Economic relations between Germany and the US have developed positively. For example, the sales of the 50 largest US companies in Germany increased by an average of +1.8% (2018: +5.5%) compared to the previous year. Simultaneously, however, the effects of the slowdown in the mechanical engineering and automotive sectors can be seen, which led to a lower sales trend compared to 2018. By contrast, the number of employees of the 30 largest US employers in Germany fell slightly. The number of employees is now around 306,000, compared to around 315,000 in 2018, according to the TOP 50 ranking published today by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) in cooperation with Accenture. The ranking refers to the 2019 fiscal year.

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
St. Martin's Day
It is a yearly tradition for Tuscaloosa Academy to celebrate the German holiday St. Martin's Day. Due to the COVID-19 virus it will be a little different this year and not open to the public. But we are happy the students can enjoy this wonderful tradition and AGP is proud to sponsor the event.

In Germany St. Martin's Day is one of the most popular of all saints' days especially with children. St. Martin was a Roman soldier. He was once at the gates of the city of Amiens in France during a terrible snowstorm when a freezing beggar appeared. Martin took his sword and cut his military cloak in half and gave it to the man. He was recognized for his kindness and humble manner. He was proposed to become Bishop of Tours. Martin hid in a barn to avoid the honor. A flock of geese gave his hiding place away with their gabbling and he was appointed Bishop.

The day is celebrated on the evening of November 11 in most areas of German. Children go through the streets with paper lanterns and sing songs about Saint Martin's generosity and the lanterns they are carrying . Ver often, a man dressed as Saint Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession.

Travel Abroad Opportunity for Tuscaloosa City Schools 10th and 11th Graders
By Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International
Would you like to spend two weeks in Germany in June 2021?
TSCI is planning this fully-escorted student educational exchange in Tuscaloosa’s German Sister City, Schorndorf. The cost is $1500 per student, with scholarship opportunities available. This includes round-trip airfare, awesome side-trips. Life-changing experiences and so much more!
If you’re interested, please contact TSCI at
Qualified students will participate in a competitive selection process. We hope you’ll apply to this awesome program coordinated by the Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International!
How ‘Feierabend’ Helps Germans Disconnect from the Workday
By Krystin Arneson, BBC
Although many of us are relieved to have ditched office commutes amid Coivd-19, what some see as a grind, others view as a ritual. For Nils Backhaus, who lives in Bochum, just outside Dortmund in Germany, commuting is still an essential part of his day he can’t go without – even when he’s working from home. Around 1700, the 34-year-old research and policy adviser for Germany’s Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health puts on his shoes and gets on his racing bike to cruise through the tranquil landscapes along the Ruhr River.

This daily ride – what he calls his “fake commute” – mimics the trip he used to take returning from the office, before he transitioned to home working. It’s Backhaus’s way of recreating a more traditional start to ‘Feierabend’, a German word describing the time after work is done and a period of leisure and rest begins.

“‘Feierabend’ has two meanings,” says Christoph Stengel, a 41-year-old Berliner who works as a software developer at price-comparison website Idealo. “First, it's the moment you stop working for the rest of the day – of course, [it’s] a good feeling then. Second, it's the part of the day between work and going to bed.”

New AGP Members

Please help us welcome our new members:


David Barnett
Managing Member
Cypress Employment Services, LLC

Cypress Employment Services is contract labor company with combined employee management experience exceeding 50 years. We know that each of our business partnerships is unique, and we adapt practical risk management strategies to the specific requirements of each client. By enhancing employee productivity and efficiency, we enable our clients to focus on projects and profitability.
Learn more at


Diana Harris
Translator and Language Teacher


Kevin Simon

Graham Boettcher

Let's welcome you as a new member - Join AGP TODAY!
AGP Members in the News
We are proud to have both Auburn University and The University of Alabama as AGP members that is making news with two other AGP members City of Auburn and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International's donation of KUKA Robotics was critical in establishing University of Alabama's Initiative on Manufacturing Development and Education, called Alabama IMaDE, a multidisciplinary research and education program in intelligent and advanced manufacturing systems and processes. Learn more about IMaDE.

Manufacturing has transitioned from a manual to a more advanced industry over the last 50 years. To better equip workers with the skills needed to flourish in today’s manufacturing world, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) of the City of Auburn and Auburn University are partnering to provide resources for Auburn’s workforce. The result of this partnership is the Auburn Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC). Located in the Auburn Industrial Park, the center provides space for training and machine prototyping, setup and development.
“AMTC is the result of three years of thoughtful listening and planning to provide solutions to the gap described by manufacturers in the precision five-axis machining, advanced measurement and industry 4.0 technology skill areas,” said City of Auburn Economic Development Director Phillip Dunlap. Read more in Auburn News.

AGP Member Alabama Technology Network is offering HALF-PRICE workshops till the end of 2020! Head over to the ATN website and see which training workshops are currently being offered.

Germany to impose one-month partial lockdown
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany's state premiers announced on Wednesday a new partial lockdown to begin on Monday, November 2. The so-called nationwide "lockdown light" is a less intense version of the measures that brought German society and economic activity to a standstill in the spring.'s Full Story.

Germany to give $662 million in coronavirus aid to Holocaust survivors
Germany has agreed to provide $662 million in aid to Holocaust survivors struggling under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said. The payments will go to about 240,000 survivors around the world, primarily in Israel, North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, over the next two years, according to the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference. Read's Story.


We have collected a list of resources that can provide information and assistance during these challenging times. You can find them on our website under Helpful Resources.

AlabamaGermany Partnership:

You can continue to reach us by phone: (205) 341-7880 or email:

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