Business Facilities magazine recently ranked Alabama as the number one state in automotive manufacturing strength.
The ranking was based on production gains and growth potential for the business sector and appears in the magazine’s annual report on states’ performance.
Tenessee topped the list for the past four years in a row, but Alabama’s auto strength, anchored by the expansion of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc., won the Yellowhammer state the top ranking.
The magazine lauded the regional efforts of Mercedes-Benz, which birthed the state's modern auto industry in the 1990’s and continues to expand its operations in Tuscaloosa.
“Mercedes Benz's long term commitment to Alabama was followed by a parade of auto giants who have vaulted the state into the top five in U.S. automotive production, with more than 900,000 vehicles produced in 2013,” the magazine said.
Honda, Hyundai and Toyota also continue to grow their presence in the state.
According to the magazine, Alabama also took the top spot due to the Alabama Industrial Development Training [AIDT] program, a workforce-training program that specializes in developing onsite training facilities for the aerospace, shipbuilding and automotive industries.
In 2013, the state signed an agreement with Mercedes-Benz recognizing Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa as one of the best in its field in preparing individuals for careers in manufacturing. Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) and AIDT formalized a $1.6-million contract for Shelton to support MBUSI’s technical programs.
Additionally, Alabama was listed as number one among biofuels leaders and made it into the top 10 in 10 different categories.