By on January 19, 2015

Atlanta

As Mercedes-Benz USA prepares for its two-year move from New Jersey to Atlanta, the question is how the city scored this win in the first place. Turns out Atlanta is pushing its own brand as that of an automotive industry hub for the Southeastern United States.

Autoblog reports Atlanta has become a home for a handful of automakers from around the globe, including Porsche, Kia and General Motors. At present, around 250 industry-related companies call the Southern city home, the majority comprised of suppliers.

Those suppliers have chosen Atlanta as their base for strategic purposes: close enough to the OEMs to have a relationship, but far enough away that they don’t have to compete for resources, nor be reliant on a single company for business. In turn, the OEMs are heading south to increase their presence over regional operations, as well as to have a more hands-on approach over its suppliers, per a report by the Center for

As far the city’s growing niche goes, the OEMs are focused on furthering ties with their suppliers and sending more white-collar jobs to Atlanta over building new production facilities throughout the region. Georgia, meanwhile, is preparing for the future to come with an initiative to help college students better compete in the industry over the next decade.

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25 Comments on “Atlanta Grows Into Role As Automotive Industry Hub...”


  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    Is Atlanta still out of drinking water?

  • avatar
    motorrad

    I think they are still trying to steal it from Tennessee.

  • avatar

    We will move production facilities anywhere we can avoid taxation.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Can you blame them? Except for hipsters and finance people, who is moving to metro NYC? Great place to live when you are young and want your life to be a Friends episode, but tough place to be a middle class grown up.

      • 0 avatar

        TOAD

        While I’ll agree with you on the general idea of avoiding high taxes… There’s not enough space in Metro NYC to do any major production.

        Northrop Grumman left Hicksville, Long Island and moved to Florida for example. Long Island just isn’t a place designed for business. Upstate NY is mostly prison-for-profit.

        My house value is higher and my neighborhoods are safer because everyone who was a problem got LOCKED UP lol.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    So I guess that y’all forgot that Ford used to make the Taurus in Hapeville, near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, and the GM used to make their minivans up in Doraville, near the intersection of I-285 and I-85.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, sure, but there’s a big difference between single facilities that are near Atlanta, and having regional or national operations headquartered there.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Porsche’s NA headquarters is going where Hapeville used to be.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        You make it sound like they’re going to erase Hapeville off the map! I hope they at least keep the Dwarf House. And Jeff Foxworthy’s familial home…

        Maybe with the influx of Porsche execs, Atlanta can get another good German restaurant closer to town (than Stone Mountain or Helen).

        When I lived there (20+ years ago), there was a little mom-and-pop German restaurant in Hapeville, not too far from the Dwarf House. She was from the old country and could cook all of the stuff my folks fed me as a child. It was wunderbar! But sometime in the mid 90’s she became ill and closed the business. I never felt the need to go back to Hapeville after that.

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    It makes sense to me. Atlanta, despite the haters, is one of the primary cross roads of modern America. I suppose I’m in a suburb of the southern auto industry up I-85 in Greenville/Spartanburg with BMW, Michelin North America, ZF, and a bunch more. It’s telling that GSP airport offers several direct flights to Detroit every day of the week – and they are full.

    We have a lot of folks moving here from Michigan. They love the housing costs, mild winters (although many were under the impression that SC is like Florida in the winter and surprised at the regular freezing temperatures) and endless restaurant / retail choices. What little you can’t get here is available within 100 to 150 miles in Charlotte and Atlanta.

    Look at a nighttime satellite picture of the U.S. and you’ll see what time it is in this country.

    • 0 avatar

      Greenville! I lived there for several years, until very recently. Great city.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I live just a little west of the ‘West End’ of Greenville. It’s great if you ignore the skyrocketing prices, fake people (southern charm is just a cultural front for the same people you’d find anywhere else) and giant outdoor cockroaches. As an ex-Michigander, I think the food down here is lackluster. If you’re single and older than 27, you’re either a homosexual or something is wrong with you. You marry and knock out babies before you’re 24. Tinder is full of women my age with kids that know more about algebra than I do.

        The redeeming quality of the upstate is how close I am to Keowee and Jocassee. My boat sees 7 months of action rather than 4. Honesty and the fear of God still reign supreme. I have boat audio equipment secured in a manner which would have been stolen had I still lived in the Detroit metro.

        The manufacturing landscape is interesting as heck. It’s a melting pot of automotive suppliers and textiles. Wages on my plant’s floor are $10/hr, which is 2 bucks more than what a textile worker takes home. It is surreal. I love it yet I hate it. My group of friends is small, because there are a lot of people I will never mesh with down here. As the north empties into this region, it’s technical knowledgebase improves.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          If Greenville gets too much for you Atlanta is only a couple of hours away and culturally decades ahead

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          @Tresmonos: “My group of friends is small, because there are a lot of people I will never mesh with down here…”

          That was my experience living in Atlanta. Sometimes it was hard to believe I was living in the same country.

          During the boom economy of the late 90’s, I took the chance to move back to the midwest (GR, MI). I’ve never regretted it, crappy weather and all.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Hi Caroline, is this an after Christmas miracle?

  • avatar
    vwgolf420

    It’s next door to Alabama and we’ve got Mercedes, Hyundai, and Honda plants. In fact, the Honda plant is not far off I-20 on the way from B’ham to ATL. The Mercedes plant is on I-59/20 just west of B’ham and Hyundai is in Montgomery, not far from I-85 which goes to ATL too. Chattanooga has VW.

  • avatar
    VelocityRed3

    Atlanta’s original name was Terminus. The same reasons that a bunch of railroads had hubs there (as now Hartsfiled-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world) are the same reasons that Auto companies & others are moving there. Namely where it is located in the continental US. in 30 years, Chattanooga will be a bedroom suburb (if not partially already) to the north, the Alabama state line is only 60 miles to the west & Macon is already being absorbed to the south. Augusta to the east is safe for now. The thing that will stop it, as alluded to up thread, is the lack of fresh water. The ‘Hooch is the shallowest river of any major city in North America. With just shy of 6 million ATL-iens in the metro area, it is the largest city in the Southeast (indeed half of the population of the state of Georgia is there) & is at the point where the gravitational pull of the city is like a self-replicating behemonth.

  • avatar

    Gotta luv ATL!? SEVEN downtown lanes on 75/85. Probly 18 hours a day you could fly thru there huge. Where else has 7? BTW Atlanta is the 40th largest city, 11th metro area. WTF? Me thinks the highway trust fund needs an audit.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    I don’t know why Porsche chose to leave Reno when it did, but for other car manufacturers based in New Jersey or L.A(I’m thinking of Nissan leaving Gardena) real estate for corporate and the worker bees is far less expensive in the South. I watch a fair amount of home rehab shows, and I can tell instantly where the houses are, even though the producers go out of their way to hide it. One couple is shopping for a make-over home at $850K (must be Vancouver or Toronto), and the next pair finds a same-size home, and it’s $250K or less(Atlanta).Come to think of it, when are Toyota-VW-BMW of Canada coming south?

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