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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 vehicle manufacturing industry. A new dimension was added to this industry when Autocar, a maker of heavy-duty work trucks, launched production in the state.

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. These Alabama automakers have a combined capacity topping 1 million cars and light trucks each year, rising to 1.3 million vehicles once the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing assembly plant reaches full production.

Toyota, Honda and Hyundai also produce over 1.5 million engines annually, another sign of the sector’s strength in the state. Capacity upgrades will soon take that figure close to 2 million engines per year.

Employment in Alabama’s automotive manufacturing sector today approaches 40,000, surging from just a few thousand in the days before Mercedes. Around 24,000 of these jobs are in Alabama’s growing automotive supplier network, which now counts 150 major companies.

Both employment and production are receiving a massive boost from the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville, where production began in 2021. The Huntsville facility will employ up to 4,000 workers after production fully ramps up at the $2.3 billion facility.

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 over 70 nations around the world every year. In 2021, exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts topped $8.5 billion, led by shipments to Germany, China 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 Technology Park in Decatur, where technicians learn how to operate advanced robots and automation processes in a one-of-a-kind facility.

Quick Facts

  • Annual production capacity topping 1.3 million cars and light trucks
  • Around 40,000 automotive manufacturing jobs
  • More than 150 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state
  • Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai produce over 1.5 million automotive engines annually
  • Exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts exceeded $8.5 billion in 2021
  • Alabama produces 15 different passenger vehicle models
  • Transportation equipment is Alabama’s No. 1 export category
  • Alabama is the No. 4 auto exporting state

Vehicle Manufacturers

  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Autocar
  • New Flyer

Automotive Supplier Companies

  • Kamtek
  • SMP
  • Lear
  • Johnson Controls
  • Eissmannn
  • Yoruzu
  • Nemak
  • Hwashin
  • Hanwha
  • Newman Technology
  • DAS
  • Grupo Antolin
  • GuyoungTech
  • Truck & Wheel Group
  • Brose
  • Boysen
  • AJIN
  • Borbet
  • Topre
  • LeeHan
  • SAS
  • North American Lighting
  • Adient
  • Yutaka Technologies
  • BoltaWerke
  • Bermco Aluminum
  • Donghee
  • Dongwon
  • Halla
  • Honda Lock
  • HS Automotive
  • Inteva
  • Kemmerich
  • KTH Leesburg
  • M-Tek
  • Nitto Denko
  • HTNA
  • Rainsville Technology
  • SMART of Alabama
  • TS Tech
  • WKW Erbsloeh
  • ZF Chassis Systems

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