More than two decades since the first South Carolina-made BMW rolled off of the assembly line in 1994, the Palmetto State today is a leader in automotive manufacturing. Ranking first in the U.S. in the export sales of both completed passenger vehicles and tires, the annual economic impact in the state is more than $27 billion. A thriving technical college system, a highly-skilled workforce, as well as the industry advancements from Clemson University’s CU-ICAR research and training facility, South Carolina is an ideal location for your automotive facility.
- 72,000 people in the automotive industry workforce
- 22,900 jobs added in the automotive industry from 2011-2020
- #1 in the export sales of both tires and completed passenger vehicles
- Three passenger OEMs, 3 Specialty OEMs, and 5 Tire OEMs in South Carolina
- #1 exporter of tires, with over 100,000 tires produced daily
Leading Automotive Manufacturers in SC
Use this interactive map to learn more about the automotive industry in South Carolina, and to explore the clusters created by our state’s skilled workforce, strategic infrastructure, low cost of business, and attractive quality of life.
Workforce Education & Training
- Provides skills and technical training to employees of new and expanding businesses in South Carolina
- Works closely with new companies to provide the recruiting, training and workforce development tools and assistance they need to get up and running
- Helps a company’s workforce continue to grow by guiding companies through the registered apprenticeship process from initial information to full recognition in the National Registered Apprenticeship System
- Websites: ReadySC™ and Apprenticeship Carolina
SmartState Center of Economic Excellence
- Premier 250-acre automotive research, innovation and educational technology campus with $250 million in total investments and 770 on-site jobs created
- Focuses research on Advanced Powertrain Systems, Automotive Systems Integration, Human Factors/HMI, Manufacturing and Materials, Vehicle Performance, Vehicle to Vehicle Connectivity, Vehicle Infrastructure Integration and Vehicular Electronics.
- Website: Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)
- One of only a few Universities in the nation that offers a Doctorate Degree in Automotive Engineering
- Approximately 200 students are pursuing graduate degrees
- Nearly 50% of graduates remain in South Carolina after graduation
- Website: Clemson University’s Department of Automotive Engineering