This report completed by the Brookings Institution finds that the auto industry plays a critical role in the Tennessee economy and explores the new competitive environment that will challenge the state going forward. Click here to view full document. Click here to view the executive summary.

Advanced industries (AIs) like the auto sector—with its significant R&D investment and STEM-worker intensity—are important because they drive regional and national prosperity in the United States. For its part, Tennessee’s auto industry has led the state’s post-recession recovery and has managed to increase its share of North American motor vehicle manufacturing employment since the Recession.

However, with fundamental changes in the global auto industry ratcheting up competitive pressures, Tennessee will need to find new ways to compete in the years ahead. Most notably, the state like other locations will need to complement its traditional costs advantages with a new focus on workforce quality and technology development.

Drive! offers three major findings about the Tennessee auto sector:

  • Following a tumultuous decade, Tennessee’s auto sector retains significant momentum
  • However, disruptive forces in the global auto industry pose competitive challenges for the Tennessee sector
  • In the context of this new competitive environment, Tennessee industry and government should collaborate to expand and enhance the auto sector

This report is part of the Brookings Institution’s new Advanced Industries Series.

Source: Brookings Institution | Mark Muro, Scott Andes, Kenan Fikri, Martha Ross, Jessica A. Lee, Neil G. Ruiz and Nick Marchio | October 4, 2013