Gov. Jay Nixon and the governors of Michigan, Tennessee and Illinois have founded the National Governors Auto Caucus to grow the auto industry and its suppliers, Gov. Nixon announced today.
The bi-partisan caucus, composed of Gov. Nixon, Gov. Richard Snyder (R-MI), Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN), and Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL), was introduced at an annual conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research in Traverse City, Michigan.
"I look forward working with fellow Governors and experts in the industry to seek new ways to continue the recent growth in automotive manufacturing," said Gov. Nixon. "This partnership will help to strengthen the nation's economy and create more jobs in each of our states."
A significant player in the U.S. economy, the automotive industry employs eight million people in manufacturing, suppliers and dealers. This industry generates $500 billion in income for its employees and $70 billion in tax revenues. Missouri's automotive industry comprises 5.3 percent of the state labor force with 190,000 employees throughout the state.
In Missouri, the growing automotive supply chain was bolstered by recent announcements by Ford and General Motors of expansion to their manufacturing facilities. Last year, Ford announced a $1.1 billion investment in its Kansas City Assembly Plant, adding a second manufacturing line for the F-150 pickup truck in 2012 and bringing in a new product, the Transit commercial van, in 2013-an investment that will create 1,600 new jobs. Earlier this year, GM broke ground on a $380 million expansion at its Wentzville plant, adding 1,660 jobs and a new pickup line for the Chevy Colorado.
"The rebirth of the American auto industry is happening right here in Missouri," Gov. Nixon said. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs by growing our network of automotive suppliers throughout the state. Already we've seen great progress with the new projects and expansions at Magna International, Johnson Controls, Spartan Light Metals, Bodine Aluminum, and TG USA. These are the types of new jobs we want to bring to every community across Missouri."
Missouri also is home to Smith Electric Vehicles (US), maker of the Newton electric truck at its Kansas City assembly facility. On the other side of the state, Emerald Automotive announced plans last year to build hybrid electric vans at a new $175 million plant in the St. Louis area. For more information about Missouri's automotive industry, visit www.ded.mo.gov/auto.