N.C. carving a name for itself in the auto sector

North Carolina Welcome Sign.

Image by J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

North Carolina is making a name for itself in the automotive industry. An August 14 piece from the Winston-Salem Journal talks about how N.C. has become part of a group Southern states earning street cred within the industry.How? By creating jobs in clean and efficient auto technologies. As an N.C. native, I am proud to see my home state recognized for its initiative to spur economic growth through this sector.The state currently ranks as one of the nation’s top 10 automotive clusters – and that’s only going to grow with the proliferation of green technologies and materials. The article also mentioned a recent study by the United Auto Workers union and environmental groups that ranked North Carolina 13th in the nation for jobs in clean and efficient auto technologies. Currently, N.C. has 19 facilities that employ nearly 5,300 workers in those fields.This is great news for an industry whose activity truly reflects our overall economy.  When the car business is booming, that means consumers are feeling confident enough to make what’s likely to be the second-largest purchase of their lifetime (next to a house). The opposite is also true.When dealers can move units off their lots, that means that there’s more work for the manufacturing plants and parts distributors, creating an upward trend that should be modeled by other industries to get our economy moving.I wanted to share this story because it’s nice to see some positive news once in a while. I hope that North Carolina’s efforts have a ripple effect that creates jobs for those hurting back home and throughout the Southeast.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Matt Keegan at 12:52 PM

    Melanie, I had no idea that you are a Tarheel. I’m from N.J., but have lived in the Raleigh area for 7 years and love it here.I’m so glad that you showcased what is happening in N.C. The industry is fairly small, with no automotive manufacturing plants in the state (yet), but the research that is being done here via the RTP and elsewhere has been big. NC State seems to be leading the way, particularly with EVs.I still believe that the U.S. can be a production leader. Too many jobs are being shipped overseas, but we’ve know-how and can-do spirit that few people in the world possess. Am I boasting? You, betcha!

  2. Melanie Batenchuk at 2:56 PM

    Matt – Yes! I’m a Tarheel…grew up in Hickory and graduated from Chapel Hill. The highlighting of NC’s automotive industry is actually one of the things I really enjoy about reading Auto Trends Magazine. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts on my pieces. I always appreciate your insight!!