For companies looking to export/import, Charleston’s central East Coast location and access to one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S.—the Southeast, are strategic advantages. The Port of Charleston offers the deepest harbor in the south Atlantic and provides global access to 150+ countries.

More than one-fifth of the U.S. population resides within
500 mi/800 km of the Charleston region

Why Mercedes Benz Vans, Volvo and Others

choose charleston


automotive manufacturers and suppliers


technically-skilled workers


highest employment concentration for transportation equipment (among mid-size U.S. metros)

Source: Charleston Regional Competitiveness Center

Automotive Companies

call charleston home

The Charleston region is home to global automotive OEM companies and component manufacturers. To continue growing the supply chain, we welcome mid-tier automotive parts suppliers including: forged, precision machine shops, and fabricated metal parts suppliers.

Cummins Turbo Technologies
IFA Rotorion
Robert Bosch
Robert Bosch

Larry Lautenschlager

Senior Vice President
Manufacturing Robert Bosch, LLC

"Robert Bosch LLC has a significant long-term manufacturing presence in South Carolina, including over 40 successful years in Charleston with our automotive components plant. Charleston is well positioned for automotive companies with a government that supports business development, and an area rich in historic and natural beauty that helps attract and attain talent. It is a great place to live and to do business."


research & innovation

Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is a 250-acre research campus partnering the university's research and academic programs with industry leaders, including BMW, IBM, Microsoft, Michelin North America and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). CU-ICAR is located along Interstate 85, approximately 200 miles/322 km from Charleston and halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, a corridor home to two-thirds of the nation's motorsports racing teams.

The South Carolina Automotive Counci is the state's leading organization dedicated to advancing South Carolina's automotive manufacturing sector in a global marketplace and serves as a forum for automotive manufacturers to work collectively and proactively to address issues through advocacy, resource development, continuous improvement and the exchange of ideas.

Zucker Family Graduate Education Center is under construction on Clemson University’s Energy Campus in North Charleston. Multiple graduate degrees in engineering will be offered. The Zucker Center plans to enroll 200 students, and employ at least 12 faculty members and 40 researchers/staff members. Electrical and computer engineering students will have the opportunity to do research in two cutting-edge labs: the electrical grid simulator known as the Duke Energy eGRID and a $98-million facility that tests turbine drivetrains, both housed in the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center.


The chart below provides wages typically associated with the automotive sector, or visit local data to access a more comprehensive list of wage statistics (BLS data). For a local wage & benefit survey broken down by industry sector and company size, contact Michael J. Graney, Vice President, Global Business Development, at +1 843.760.4526 or mgraney@crda.org.

U. S. BLS Occupation Title and Code2015 Average Hourly Wage2015 Median Hourly Wage
Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers, 51-2022 $19.25$19.49
Team Assemblers, 51-2092 $16.69$16.11
Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal & Plastic, 51-4011 $19.04$19.14
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic, 51-4012 $29.46$27.04
Cutting, Punching, Press Machine Setters, Operators, Tenders, Metal & Plastic, 51-4031 $18.35$17.28
Machinists, 51-4041$21.18$19.86
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, 51-4121 $18.42$17.96
Industrial Machinery Mechanics, 49-9041 $28.60$25.24
Mechanical Engineers, 17-2141 $42.05$43.11
Mechanical Engineering Technicians, 17-3027 $26.51$26.59
First-line Supervisors/Managers of Production & Operating Workers, 51-1011 $33.33$31.22
Industrial Production Managers, 11-3051 $52.77$51.51
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5/2016

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