Report Boasts Southern Automotive Industry
￼Brookings report provides Tennessee roadmap for automotive manufacturing growth Supplier network growth and public sector collaboration keys to competitiveness.
A report that was recently released by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program (Nashville, TN) touts Tennessee’s automotive manufacturing industry as the “southern automotive powerhouse” and issues recommendations that could increase Tennessee’s competiveness in the global auto marketplace.
According to Brookings, Tennessee’s automotive is strong and could be even brighter if the state develops strategies to grow the supplier network, develop more high skilled workers, and foster a culture of innovation. Succeeding on these dimensions will ensure that the state remains a top choice for automotive industry expansion amid increasing competition in the global automotive market.
In its report, titled “Drive! Moving Tennessee’s Automotive Sector Up the Value Chain,” Brookings writes, “Tennessee has emerged as a southern automotive powerhouse. The state’s original underlying strengths—a strategic, low-cost location equipped with excellent transportation infrastructure—have been enhanced in the last decade and now position Tennessee quite well in the face of a number of disruptive megatrends that will alter the global industry. Despite growing domestic and international competition the state’s prospects are in fact bright.”
Brookings, the highly respected research and policy organization, affirms Tennessee’s position as a leader in the North American automotive industry. The state is home to the largest auto industry in the South in terms of employment, and supply chain employment and has an industry profile with 650 automotive businesses including three manufacturers. The 96,000 people employed accounts for 12 percent of all job creation since 2008. From 2010 – 2012 employment increased by an average 16.1 percent compared to 1.8 percent for the overall economy.
“Our industry is a primary driver of Tennessee’s economy and a major contributor to prosperity and quality of life of our citizens,” said Tom Brewer, president of the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association (TAMA). “This success happened over a 30-year period due to strong leadership, policies and business-friendly fundamentals that have positioned Tennessee for an exceptional future as the headquarters of Southern automotive manufacturing.”