A B O U T
The South Carolina Automotive Council (SCAC) is a division of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA). As the leading organization dedicated to enhancing the state’s automotive manufacturing sector’s position, the SCMA and SCAC foster collaboration, promote innovation, and maintain a business environment conducive to growth and success in a global marketplace. For more information, contact SCAC Executive Director, Catherine Hayes
M I S S I O N
The Automotive Cluster is one of South Carolina’s shining successes, with its anchor in the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, also known as CU-ICAR. South Carolina has differentiated itself by building this world-class research capability in the sate. The cluster seeks to build greater breadth and depth in the South Carolina automotive cluster, and to continuously upgrade the quality of its business environment.
H I S T O R Y
Automotive Industry in South Carolina
The South Carolina automotive cluster began in the early 1900s when Milliken & Company began making fabric seats and roofs for Henry Ford’s automobiles. Since the 1950s, the automotive cluster has gained momentum in South Carolina and in 1973 gained Michelin’s North American headquarters, which produces approximately one-third of its total tire sales and contains an independent research and development facility that employees over 1,000 workers. Soon after, Bosch began production of injection systems, employing over 2000 workers in Anderson, Charleston, and Fountain Inn. This was followed by BMW’s decision to locate its first and only North American assembly plant in South Carolina in 1992.
In 2007, BMW partnered with Clemson University to create a new model of integrated engineering education built around the automobile. Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is a globally recognized center for research and development in the automotive and motosports industry. It houses the nation’s only graduate Department of Automotive Engineering.
The automotive industry cluster is now a critical driver in the state’s economy. South Carolina is ranked 3rd in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength. Twelve original equipment manufacturers and over 300 suppliers are located in South Carolina. In 2014, BMW announced an expansion that will make its Spartanburg facility the highest-producing facility in the world by 2016.
South Carolina Automotive Council
Established as an initiative of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), the SCAC is building on the experience of an organization with over 100 years of proven success advocating for manufacturing. The concept of the SCAC developed over the past several years as manufacturing leaders from across the state recognized the need for an automotive-sector specific forum to enhance its position within South Carolina’s economy, to encourage dialogue, and to advocate for policies that will foster growth and prosperity for automotive-related manufacturers. Automotive manufacturers have many issues and challenges in common with other manufacturing sectors, but there are areas of interest unique to automotive manufacturing that demand sector-specific focus.
The SCAC leadership recognizes the importance of the “Southern Automotive Corridor” and has actively engaged other Southeastern automotive organizations to insure a collective and aggressive approach to advancing the entire region. The SCAC established its office on the campus of Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and has full-time staff in place to serve the members and implement programs and initiatives throughout South Carolina and the Southeast.
P U B L I C A T I O N S
The Economic Impact of South Carolina’s Automotive Cluster (January 2011), prepared by the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.