Auto leaders to address industry transformation at annual summit
When the crowd of executives, managers and other top auto industry decision makers gather this month at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville for the ninth annual SC Automotive Summit, they’ll have a lot to discuss.
“The automotive industry is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation,” said Amy Tinsley, executive director of the SC Automotive Council.
View an agenda of this year’s summit
That transformation is self-evident, Tinsley said, as new technologies like automated, connected, electric and shared vehicles are changing the way the auto industry does business. What this means for suppliers, original-equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders is still very much up in the air, Tinsley said, even as the timing and rate of this transition becomes ever more crucial.
That’s not even mentioning more timely issues — trade policy being front and center — in addition to bellwether challenges such as workforce needs, she said.
But Tinsley said the Upstate remains uniquely positioned to handle these challenges. Its geographic location and infrastructure allow companies to receive goods and materials with relative ease while having access to Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research, which she described as a valuable education and technological resource.
South Carolina auto at a glance
- The SC auto industry has an annual economic impact of more than $27 billion, according to the state Department of Commerce.
- Currently, more than 72,000 people in the state are in the automotive industry workforce.
- The state has added 21,500 jobs in automotive from 2011 to 2018.
- The state ranks No. 1 in export sales of both tires and completed passenger vehicles.
- Since the summit’s inaugural year, South Carolina has added Volvo Cars and Continental Tire to its roster of automotive companies.
This year’s summit will feature state leaders including Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, state Department of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, and President and CEO of the SC State Ports Authority Jim Newsome.