Automotive Industry

With an annual economic impact of more than $27 billion, the automotive sector is now an integral part of the state’s economy. As a result, a wide range of companies—automakers, automotive suppliers and component manufacturing—are all based in South Carolina.

It all started in 1994, when the first South Carolina-made BMW rolled off the assembly line at the company’s Upstate manufacturing facility. More than two decades later, South Carolina has become a leader in automotive manufacturing. Our technically skilled workforce has made the Palmetto State the US export automotive leader in completed passenger vehicles. Moreover, the state also ranks first in both the production and export of tires, accounting for nearly one-third of the US market share.

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Why is SC Just Right for Automotive?

#1 in the export sales of both tires and completed passenger vehicles
61,000 people in the automotive industry workforce
21,500 jobs added in automotive from 2011 to 2018

"Through their strong commitment to quality, our employees in Seneca have built BorgWarner’s outstanding reputation as a premier transfer case supplier. We are proud to contribute to the local economy with our continued expansion in South Carolina."

Dr. Stefan Demmerle, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems President and General Manager
$8.9 billion in capital investment from 2011 to 2018
4x Over the last two decades, the size of South Carolina's automotive industry has quadrupled
Top 10 South Carolina's automotive industry is one of the top 10 fastest-growing labor forces in the nation

More than 400 operations of automotive-related companies call SC home. Here's a quick automotive industry overview.

BMW Logo

More than 25 years in, BMW Plant Spartanburg has proven to be an exceptional gateway, providing the German automaker with great access to the North American market.

“The production of our 4 millionth vehicle in South Carolina reflects the commitment and dedication of every associate to produce premium quality vehicles.”

Knudt Flor, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, September 2017

In 1994, the first BMW produced in North America – a 318i – rolled off the company’s assembly line at the premium automobile maker’s first full manufacturing facility outside of Germany located in Spartanburg County, SC. BMW's presence has been a game-changer for the Palmetto State, proving to the world that South Carolina has the workforce necessary to produce complex, highly-advanced products.

Read more about the more than $7 billion BMW has invested in its South Carolina operations

Honda

After two decades in South Carolina, Honda’s Florence County operations continue to thrive, growing and evolving to meet ever-increasing customer demand.

“I've been really impressed with the quality of our workforce.” 

Gary Mabrey, President of Honda of South Carolina, July 2018

In 1998 Honda established operations in South Carolina by opening an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) advanced manufacturing facility. In August 2015, Honda announced a new $42 million investment, growing the facility by 115,000 square feet and facilitating the addition of two new product lines – the Pioneer 1000 and Pioneer 1000-5. A year later, the company announced another significant expansion – a $45 million investment, which is expected to create 250 new jobs.

Read more about how Honda has grown over two decades in SC.

Other automotive companies in SC

  • BMW Logo
  • Mercedes Logo
  • Volvo Logo

Learn more about what SC has to offer.

Find Out if South Carolina is Just Right for your Automotive Business

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