Category Archives: The Carolinas

The Auto Industry Has Carolina on its Mind

AutomotiveAt this point in time, it is safe to say that the American auto industry has made a successful comeback after the disastrous 2008 recession.  Over the past few years, we’ve seen record sales across the board for all auto companies. In addition, foreign manufacturers continue to make investments in building facilities here in the U.S.

The Carolinas are two of the industry’s favorite states to set up business and 2013 has been a great year for both South and North Carolina. Here’s a rundown of the auto industry in South Carolina:

  • South Carolina has been home to auto related industries since the 1900s, when Milliken & Company manufactured fabric for the seats and roofs of Henry Ford’s automobiles.
  • As of 2013, South Carolina is home to over 250 automotive manufacturing facilities, suppliers and other auto related companies.
  • South Carolina is home to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR),
  • Recent auto related announcements over the summer include:
    • Daimler Vans Manufacturing Expanding in Charleston County, SC — $4.6 million investment
    • Crown Group  (Automotive coating supplier) Opens New Plant in Greenville County, SC — $5.4 million investment
    • Weber Automotive (Vehicle components supplier) Establishes New Facility in Charleston County, SC — $51 million investment

And in North Carolina, the automotive scene is no different.  Here are some of the facts for the state:

  • More than 160 motor vehicle parts manufacturers employ more than 17,000 North Carolinians.
  • There are over 26,000 people are employed in engineering fields in North Carolina
  • North Carolina is home to 34 of the top 150 North American Automotive OEM parts suppliers.  And 19 of those have more than one facility in the state.
  • Recently, North Carolina ranked 10th among all states in total automotive cluster employment according to the Harvard Business School Cluster Mapping Project.
  • Recent auto news from the state includes:
    • Nussbaum Automotive Solutions has announced the grand opening of their 60,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant located in Gastonia, NC.
    • NC Governor Pat McCrory said recruiting an auto manufacturer is one of his top priorities.

With the increase in American technology and automation, it is very likely that there will be an increase in the number of automotive facilities and ancillary businesses locating in either South or North Carolina.  This is good news for the state and for businesses that support this vital American industry. Carolina Scales is proud to be part of this industrial progress moving our state and economy forward.

Sources: Thrive NC, SC Auto Industry, Greenville Business Mag

How Exports Accelerate U.S. Manufacturing

Fotosearch_k10370701In our previous blog, we explored the booming manufacturing industry in North Carolina and South Carolina.  What we learned from that research is that the resurgence in American manufacturing isn’t limited to the Carolinas—in fact, other areas of the country are benefiting from this new industrial production revival.

Across the U.S., manufacturing has been seeing growth for months, and some experts expect elements such as factory orders and increased employment to get even better moving forward, thanks to increases in manufactured exports. The Boston Consulting Group released an article that details expectations for an additional 5 million new manufacturing jobs by 2020. This surge is based on export increases and cost decreases.

Has the U.S. become the location for lower cost manufacturing that could make these theories a reality? A few years ago, the general consensus throughout the country would have likely been “no,” but that attitude has changed with the recent trend of major companies bringing production back to the U.S. In what is being called a manufacturing renaissance by some, BCG claims that the U.S. is becoming one of the least expensive manufacturing nations in the developed world.

“Despite all the public focus on the U.S. trade deficit, little attention has been paid to the fact that the country’s exports have been growing more than seven times faster than GDP since 2005,” the report said. “As a share of the U.S. economy… exports are at their highest point in 50 years.”

By the end of the decade, these exports have the potential to rein in anywhere from $70 billion to $115 billion on an annual basis. European and Japanese companies sending work to the U.S., along with the re-shoring of production from China won’t just be bringing in money for American manufacturers—but also millions of jobs. It’s clear that exports are the most important piece of the manufacturing puzzle.

The Carolinas Are a Manufacturing Powerhouse

Manufacturers in the United States are debating whether or not their industry is going through what people are calling a renaissance. In the past several years, following the 2008 financial crisis, Americans across all fields have had worries. Now that it looks like manufacturing is making a return to North America, as a result of heightening overseas wages and other factors, manufacturers are hoping to bring production home, and the Carolinas are ahead of the curve.

North Carolina was ranked the fourth best state in the country for the manufacturing industry, reports USA Today. Production of cars, firearms, food, and other items are making their way to both states. Even though North Carolina is ranking higher than its southern counterpart, South Carolina has brought in big name brands like BMW and Boeing.

The manufacturer surge to the Carolinas is playing a big role in both states’ economies, and efforts are being made to train the next generation of Carolinian manufacturers. Francis Marion University, a local South Carolina college, recently created new degrees to train students to be that next wave of industrial engineers, according to NBC.

It’s been a bad decade for manufacturing jobs nationwide, with 2.5 million jobs lost from the field. As domestic production continues to rise, industry leaders are becoming more hopeful that production in the United States will continue to prosper over the years. With a wave of companies moving their manufacturing operations to the Carolinas, and efforts to train new workers, North and South Carolina could be the face of the U.S. manufacturing renaissance.