Ask anyone in the country to name the state that they believe is the best place to build automobiles. We'd wager that Michigan would be the first state uttered by most – it's the home to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, after all). The correct answer, however, according to Business Facilities, is Tennessee, which has been crowned the champ with regards to automotive manufacturing strength. Make that defending champ, since this is the second year in a row that Business Facilities has recognized Tennessee as the top spot to build cars.

Why Tennesse? Just ask Volkswagen and Nissan about their state-of-the-art facilities, happy workers and the burgeoning crop of supply companies flocking to the state. Another major plus for the automakers is that Tennessee is a right-to-work state, which allows them avoid tangoing with unions. Both automakers employ non-unionized teams, and their employment numbers are growing.

So where does Michigan rank on the Business Facilities list of the top ten states for automotive manufacturing strength? Sixth, behind South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama. The rest of the the top spots are held by Ohio, Mississippi, Texas and Indiana.


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  • 42 Comments
      ammca66564
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yup. The UAW did such an adept job of driving automotive employment away from Michigan that now the advantages that made it THE place to build cars - supplier base, knowledge base, transportation, etc - has now also moved on. If the UAW had drawn back to reality earlier on, Michigan could have kept that advantage and would have attracted transplant plants. But now that advantage is gone. And Michigan is really up the creek.
      thedealerblog
      • 3 Years Ago
      Greedy unions. Ever been in a union? Unions are what protect the rights of workers. I urge anyone that wants to see what poor working conditions are like, go visit Mexico where your "safety" equipment consists of a used dusk mask. Real easy to blame the unions, when you can't put your finger on what the real problem is. Must be Detroit. Those filthy rich middle class ruined it for us. And after they got done with Detroit they parlayed their riches into the mortgage industry, where they collapsed their own homestate and went abroad to seek new victims. Don't worry, the technology will always have a home here in Detroit. My great grandmother worked for Chrysler for 40 years and always bought me a new pair of shoes and took us out to eat. Wonder how things got so screwed up to think the unions are bad. If you want to know why unions are good - why people sacrificed their lives to protect the rights of workers, read up on organizations like LELO which began in Seattle - http://www.iexaminer.org/news/community-news/remembering-silme-gene-decades-untimely/ It makes no sense to attack unions without an understanding of what they provide, skilled labor, safe working conditions, and a sustainable market where the average family is able to afford the cost of living.
        zepeda1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @thedealerblog
        Really? Well I have been into Mexican production facilites. GM truck plant. They weren't union and didn't use used dust masks. But I they did see them busting their humps because they had to work otherwise they be out of work. No union to spare them from being lazy. Not like the GM tuck plant in Fort Wayne building the same vehicles where their employess were reading newspapers on the production line. If unions are able provide all those great benefits, then it only stands to reason that all these other plants are organizing at this very moment, waiting for the UAW to bring them safety, a good salary and the best training possible.
      Dane Grant
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unions are NOT to blame.... Without them there would be no such thing as a 40hour work week and maybe a gun to your head along with the 12 year old working next to you... Fair is fair! I think anyone against the unions have been either bullied or brain-washed that they are the enemy.... Does everyone want to work for minimum wage?
        Car Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dane Grant
        Thanks the unions? Oh really? You need a history lesson. People like Henry Ford and George Westinghouse had huge corporations and provided outstanding pay and benefits long before unions came on the scene. When there is a shortage of qualified workers, pay goes up. When times are tight (like right now) there is an oversupply of workers so pay and benefits go down. It's all cyclical. The union mentality is to keep pay/benefits as high as possible even when it's clearly uncompetitive or destructive to the business. That's just plain greed and unsustainable.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          [blocked]
          MAX
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          Why did Ford workers go union if Henry was such a peach to work for?
      Car Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      The top five states are all right-to-work. Any coincidence? I think not. The greedy unions have priced themselves out of the market.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        AnthonyL
        • 3 Years Ago
        By mafia you mean the UAW and liberal politicians who have made the taxes among the highest in union?
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          [blocked]
      TRU-BOOST
      • 3 Years Ago
      Top spot in the USA builds foriegn junk, go figure. Hey if it keeps americans working i am for it... I guess. Oh and has anyone seeen rhe former "motor city" lately. Detroit is pretty much a ghetto.
        AnthonyL
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TRU-BOOST
        Considering the "foreign junk" has a better build quality than the big three, I can only imagine what you think of them...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          [blocked]
          The_Zachalope
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          Source please? Because from the 2011 JD Power scores which were on this site June 24th, GM and Ford beat VW and Nissan.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          [blocked]
          TRU-BOOST
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          Chrysler is still an american company. They just so happen to merge with the germans. Does that mean they can go around calling themselves a german engineered car ? Are they in the same class as BMW now just because of some stock sales? I feel he same way about ford buiding cars in mexico. It drives me nuts. An anerican company should build in america period. And vise versa. what is the salesmpitch formthese vw's ...? Come buy a high quailty german engineered and tuned import, Assembled by Billy Joe Bob in tennessee.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          [blocked]
      Pete
      • 3 Years Ago
      MONTEGOD7SS, I guess you married your cousin and had morphadite kids, right?? I worked for the USPS for 32 years and if you think our unions were not needed, walk a mile in my shoes then. The main problem with the USPS is management because they do not and did not and will never care about the letter carriers and clerks. Mistreated and labeled trouble makers if you don't kiss thier ass three times a day, or heaven forbid make them have to work instead of sitting at their desk.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      mikelee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Believe me folks...that's NOT Tennessee in the background of this photo. It's German wish-thinking(!)
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Didn't a Toyota rep recently say Canada was the best place to build cars because of the national healthcare system and a well educated workforce? Just throw some tools and parts out there, build couple test cars and the factory is ready to go vs the American south where they have to train the workers with video cartoons and comic books!
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      so why is there a VW emblem on that 10 year old Volvo S80?
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      Also tops in manufacturing blandness from the photo
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