For Immediate Release                                       Contact: Sally Anderson Parker
July 25, 2013                                                                           615-242-8856                                                       




Nashville, TN – Business Facilities magazine announced this week that Tennessee has retained its title as No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength. 2013 marks the fourth consecutive year that Tennessee has been the top-ranked state.


Tennessee leads Nos. 2-5 Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. “With VW intent on selling at least 1 million vehicles in the North American market, its new Chattanooga plant is ramping up to full production,” said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers in a release issued by the magazine. “Renewed commitments from GM, Nissan’s electric-car line scaling up in Smyrna and a growing supplier network have kept Tennessee in a commanding position in our automotive strength evaluation,” said Rogers. Click here to read the Business Facilities press release in its entirety.


“While this is the fourth year for Tennessee to be ranked number one, Tennessee’s position is 30 years in the making,” said Tom Brewer, President of the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association (TAMA). “A strategic joint effort by the State of Tennessee and the industry has created a tremendous business climate and a vibrant automotive ecosystem. This outstanding environment is why Tennessee has such a strong future for automotive industry expansion”


While governor from 1979-1987, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander recruited Nissan and General Motors to establish manufacturing and assembly plants in Tennessee. Since that time, the state’s auto industry has grown to include Volkswagen’s major assembly plant and more than 1,000 automotive supply companies located across the state.


Understanding that a strong supplier-base is a critical factor in an automaker’s location decisions, the state of Tennessee has implemented a number of economic development initiatives to attract companies to the state. Today the automotive industry accounts for 25 percent of the state’s economy, is the state’s largest manufacturing sector, and employs more than 116,000 people directly.


Fluctuating exchange rates and trade agreements have led automakers to increasingly locate manufacturing and assembly in the markets in which it sells,” said Brewer. “Given Tennessee’s central location and business-friendly climate, we expect to continue to see more plant openings and expansions and we expect many of those to take place in the South and certainly in Tennessee,” said Brewer.


“In addition to a strong supplier network, we expect the auto makers and large tier one suppliers to increasingly decentralize automotive innovation and R&D to be close to production facilities,” Therefore to remain number one, Tennessee must continue to advance STEM education. Some of the best high-tech jobs are, and will continue to be, in the automotive industry. Continuing to promote the workforce, supply chain expansion and automotive R&D is key to growing the industry in our state,” said Brewer.


About TAMA


TAMA is a membership organization created to strengthen and expand Tennessee's automotive industry. TAMA's diverse membership includes original equipment manufacturers; Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers; government agencies; and professional services organizations that have specialized expertise in the automotive industry. TAMA was formed in 1987 in response to Tennessee's rapidly growing automotive manufacturing industry led by Nissan North America and General Motors - Spring Hill (originally Saturn Corporation).TAMA helps Tennessee automotive companies, especially suppliers, react to the challenges of the global automotive marketplace.


For more information visit or call Sally Anderson Parker at 615.242.8856.