Since 2011, South Carolina’s auto industry has attracted over $5 billion in capital investment and created nearly 8,000 related jobs. The Charleston region, with its heavy concentration of engineering talent, deepwater port, and strategic location along the eastern seaboard, is establishing itself as a major contributor to the Southeast’s rapidly expanding auto sector.
The Charleston region—which is home to more than 100 automotive manufacturers and suppliers and 6,500 auto industry jobs—is joining the South Carolina delegation at the 65th annual IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, to showcase the region’s automotive prowess.
Want to learn more about Charleston’s growing automotive cluster? Here are a few examples of the auto industry’s key manufacturers and suppliers who call Charleston home:
- Daimler produces Sprinter Vans at its Charleston area assembly plant. Sprinters are now sold in the U.S. market under the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands. The vans have been assembled by nearly 100 Daimler employees at the Ladson plant since 2006.
- Advanced engineering and electronics company Robert Bosch manufactures car parts and accessories. The company’s local operation employs more than 1,500 associates and has expanded its facility six times since opening in 1973 in the region.
- German-based Weber Automotive—a long time player in the Charleston region—recently announced plans for a new $51 million manufacturing facility and 84 new automotive-related jobs. The facility—which will manufacture drivetrain components—strengthens Weber’s presence in the Charleston region, which began nearly a decade ago.
- Cummins Turbo Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of turbochargers and air compressors, announced a $19.5 million expansion of its Palmetto Commerce Park facility last June. In 2011, the company invested $24 million in Charleston County to double its site capacity—signaling the company’s steady growth in the region.
The Charleston region plays another vital role in the growth of South Carolina’s and the Southeast’s auto industry through exports. For example, the deepwater Port of Charleston exports BMW’s entire X-Series fleet—which is manufactured three hours northwest of Charleston, in Spartanburg, S.C.
Please visit CRDA’s automotive cluster page to learn more about doing business here.