Indiana has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of automotive manufacturing in the United States. The Hoosier state is not only known for their automotive production, but manufacturing in general. According to the Center for Manufacturing Research, Indiana led the entire country in manufacturing’s share of gross state product (GSP) for 2014, with almost a 4% lead over second place Oregon. Indiana had 29.5% of the states GSP from manufacturing.
Indiana has been a leader in automotive production, more than 11% of all automobiles produced in the United States hail from Indiana. There have been some big announcements in the last couple of years concerning automotive manufacturing expansion in the state. Near the start of 2017, a major automotive manufacturer from Japan announced a $600 million investment in their Princeton plant. The project will not fully begin until the fall of 2019, but that is not the only automotive manufacturing expansion happening.
A Japanese-based automotive parts manufacturer announced plans on a 40,000-square-foot facility located in Daviess County. The company plans to initially hire 25 employees, but expects the number to reach 70 by 2021. Since the start of 2013, more than 45 Japanese companies have created more than 6,400 jobs in Indiana.
A China-based auto-parts manufacturing company announced Greenfield as the site of their first U.S. production facility. The $80 million plant will employ up to 441 employees by the end of 2021. A trucks part manufacturer is getting ready to open a 76,000-square-foot facility in Jeffersonville. Employing 50-75 people at first, the number is expected to grow as the local market does. A manufacturer of automotive emissions control systems announced this year it will build a new production facility in Fort Wayne. The new facility is expected to employ about 150 workers by 2018.
A major United States automotive manufacturer made an announcement in the middle of 2015 to greatly expand operations at one of their plants. At $1.2 billion, the expansion in Fort Wayne will be open in either 2018 or 2019. The addition will increase the plant’s total square footage from 3 million square-feet to over 4.6 million square-feet, almost 716 total acres. After completion, the expansion will allow for 500 trucks per shift to be primed and moved along to the plant’s paint shop.
While the automotive industry is booming in the state of Indiana, the rest of the state’s employment rates are on the rise too. The state’s unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent for March, 2017. That number is lower than the national rate of 4.5 percent. Since March of 2016, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped by 0.8% and is currently at the lowest rate since 2001. Indiana also is currently leading the nation in manufacturing employment, with almost 17 percent of the state’s workforce employed by manufacturers.