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When Mercedes-Benz announced plans to open its only U.S. assembly plant in Alabama in 1993, an industry was launched. Since then, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, as well as an expanding network of automotive suppliers, have joined Alabama’s automotive manufacturing industry. In a generation, accelerating growth in this critical sector of Alabama’s economy has turned the state into an important production hub for the industry.

Together, assembly plants operated by Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai have propelled Alabama to a Top 5 ranking among the states for the production of cars and light trucks. In 2016, for the second straight year, these Alabama automakers produced more than 1 million cars and light trucks, and set a record annual production tally. Toyota, Honda and Hyundai also produced nearly 1.7 million engines in 2016, another sign of the sector’s strength in the state.

Employment in Alabama’s automotive manufacturing sector has now reached 40,000, surging from just a few thousand in the days before Mercedes. Around 27,000 of these jobs are in Alabama’s growing automotive supplier network, which now counts over 160 companies. Growth in Alabama’s automotive workforce isn’t slowing down, either; it’s projected to increase nearly 13 percent between 2014 and 2019, compared to a national increase of less than 1 percent.

The output of Alabama’s auto industry is a powerful driver of economic growth for the state. Vehicles have become Alabama’s No. 1 export, with shipments to more than 85 nations around the world every year. In 2016, exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts topped a record $9 billion, led by shipments to China, Germany, and Canada.

Thanks in part to training programs from AIDT and others preparing a skilled workforce,  growth beneath the hood of Alabama’s auto industry will continue to pick up pace. Partners in the state’s automotive training program include the Alabama Community College System and the Alabama Robotics and Technology Park near Decatur, where technicians learn how to operate advanced robots and automation processes in a one-of-a-kind facility.

Quick Facts

  • More than 1 million cars and light trucks produced in 2016
  • 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs
  • More than 150 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state
  • Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai produced 1.7 million automotive engines in 2016
  • Exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts totaled $9 billion in 2016
  • Alabama produced 11 passenger vehicle models in 2016
  • Transportation equipment is Alabama’s No. 1 export category

Automotive Companies

Here are the Automotive companies who have OEMs in Alabama.
  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Mercedes-Benz

Automotive Supplier Companies

  • Kamtek
  • SMP
  • Lear
  • Johnson Controls
  • Eissmannn
  • Yoruzu

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