Posted on: Friday - Jan 9, 2015

Tennessee’s automotive industry continues to be our State’s largest and strongest industrial sector. In 2014, more than 40 companies announced automotive-related projects which translated to 8,000-plus new jobs and approximately $1.5 billion in new capital investment. Not a bad year as our OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and existing and new suppliers all announced that Tennessee was the right place to grow their business.

Overall, automotive experts were rather positive as people continued to buy cars in 2014 (many of those manufactured right here in Tennessee).  As we look ahead to 2015, several headlines dominate the search under automotive trends:

  • Changes in monetary policy- how this could impact car sales and the steady growth period
  • New designs and vehicle launches- focus on quality and meeting consumer demands
  • Continued emphasis on new lightweight materials to meet fuel economy standards- how will the new aluminum F-150 pickup compete in the marketplace?
  • Connected cars with new technologies that allow drivers to do more and drive less while behind the wheel- interesting, right?
  • Self-driving cars, or autonomous cars, are under design by Google and several OEMs now- how far along are we advancing the driving experience and what needs to catch up?

There is a lot going on in the automotive world right now, which is why TNECD is kicking off the year by learning and collaborating with the experts at the North American International Auto Show and the Automotive News World Congress the week of January 11. This is one of the premiere automotive shows where the CEOs from top automotive manufacturers and suppliers offer their take on the new year and their plans.

Are you heading to Detroit for the show? Let me know and be sure to follow updates from Detroit at @TNECD or @Victoriah413 on Twitter.