C&W Industrial Research MarketNote: Geographic Changes in North American Automotive Industry


While the Great Lakes region will continue to be the leading location for the automotive industry, companies are clearly expanding their horizons (and U.S. site selection) well beyond the traditional upper Midwest corridor and finding ample opportunity throughout the South and Southeast. For decades, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana have dominated the automotive industry within the U.S., accounting for half the automotive jobs in 1980. While still accounting for the bulk of the automotive sector jobs in 2014 (40%), there has been a slow but inexorable shift toward southern states and Mexico that has taken place during the past several decades.

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