Automotive suppliers represent the single largest manufacturing industry in the United States. Automotive suppliers design, engineer, and manufacture parts and components such as engines and engine parts, electrical and electronic equipment, steering and suspension components, brake systems, transmission and power train parts, seating and interior trim, stampings and others which are needed to assemble passenger cars and lightweight trucks. A typical passenger vehicle or lightweight truck can include 8,000 to 12,000 parts or components.
Automotive suppliers are often divided into levels or tiers. Tier 1 suppliers provide full design and engineering support and such suppliers provide parts and components to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) of automobiles such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Volkswagen. Tier 2 suppliers manufacture components to defined specifications, and Tier 3 suppliers provide raw materials, material fabrication and other parts.
- Toyota (Blue Springs, MS) – 100 miles
- Nissan (Smyrna, TN) – 150 miles
- General Motors (Bowling Green, KY) – 200 miles
- Mercedes-Benz (Vance, AL) – 250 miles
- Volkswagen (Chattanooga, TN) – 260 miles
- Nissan (Canton, MS) – 270 miles
- Honda (Lincoln, AL) – 275 miles
- Hyundai (Montgomery, AL) – 300 miles
- Ford (Louisville, KY) – 300 miles
The Jackson Region includes at least 14 companies involved in the automotive industry, demonstrating the region can support such companies. The Jackson Region has a labor force where nearly 30 percent are employed in manufacturing jobs. This indicates the region has a trained workforce that possesses skills which would be transferrable to automotive suppliers.
Tennessee is a right-to-work state, and the Jackson Region offers a very competitive business climate and low cost of living, which are important factors for automotive suppliers when selecting a location for a new facility.