When Mercedes-Benz announced plans to open its only U.S. assembly plant in Alabama in 1993, an industry was launched. Since then, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, as well as an expanding network of automotive suppliers, have joined Alabama’s vehicle manufacturing industry. A new dimension was added to this industry when Autocar, a maker of heavy-duty work trucks, launched production in the state.

In a generation, accelerating growth in this critical sector of Alabama’s economy has turned the state into an important production hub for the industry.

Together, assembly plants operated by Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai have propelled Alabama to a Top 5 ranking among the states for the production of cars and light trucks. In 2018, Alabama automakers combined to  produce around 1 million cars and light trucks. Toyota, Honda and Hyundai also produced nearly 1.6 million engines in 2018, another sign of the sector’s strength in the state.

Employment in Alabama’s automotive manufacturing sector now approaches 40,000, surging from just a few thousand in the days before Mercedes. Around 27,000 of these jobs are in Alabama’s growing automotive supplier network, which now counts over 200 companies.

Both employment and production will receive a massive boost when the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA partnership opens a $1.6 billion joint venture assembly plant in Alabama. Construction began 2019, and the Huntsville facility will employ up to 4,000 workers after production launches in 2021. Annual production capacity will be 300,000 vehicles.

The output of Alabama’s auto industry is a powerful driver of economic growth for the state. Vehicles have become Alabama’s No. 1 export, with shipments to around 90 nations around the world every year. In 2018, exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts totaled $7.5 billion, led by shipments to Canada, China and Germany.

Thanks in part to training programs from AIDT and others preparing a skilled workforce, growth beneath the hood of Alabama’s auto industry will continue to pick up pace. Partners in the state’s automotive training program include the Alabama Community College System and the Alabama Robotics and Technology Park in Decatur, where technicians learn how to operate advanced robots and automation processes in a one-of-a-kind facility.

Quick Facts

  • Nearly 1 million cars and light trucks produced in 2018
  • Nearly 40,000 automotive manufacturing jobs
  • More than 200 Tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the state
  • Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai produced about 1.6 million automotive engines in 2018
  • Exports of Alabama-made vehicles and parts totaled $7.5 billion in 2018
  • Alabama will produce 10 different passenger vehicle models in 2019
  • Transportation equipment is Alabama’s No. 1 export category
  • Alabama is the No. 3 auto exporting state

Automotive Companies

Here are the vehicle manufacturing companies with assembly operations in Alabama.
  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Autocar
  • New Flyer

Automotive Supplier Companies

  • Kamtek
  • SMP
  • Lear
  • Johnson Controls
  • Eissmannn
  • Yoruzu
  • Nemak
  • Hwashin
  • Hanwha
  • Newman Technology
  • DAS
  • Grupo Antolin
  • GuyoungTech
  • Truck & Wheel Group
  • Brose
  • Boysen
  • AJIN
  • Borbet
  • Topre
  • LeeHan
  • SAS
  • North American Lighting
  • Adient
  • Yutaka Technologies
  • BoltaWerke
  • Bermco Aluminum
  • Donghee
  • Dongwon
  • Eberspacher
  • Faurecia
  • Halla
  • Honda Lock
  • HS Automotive
  • Inteva
  • Kemmerich
  • KTH Leesburg
  • M-Tek
  • Nitto Denko
  • HTNA
  • Rainsville Technology
  • SMART of Alabama
  • TS Tech
  • WKW Erbsloeh
  • ZF Chassis Systems