The needle keeps moving higher for the auto industry in Alabama, home to four of the world’s most successful automakers – Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota. Their expanding operations have attracted a vast constellation of parts suppliers with factories located throughout the state, expanding the depth and capabilities of this critically important sector of Alabama’s economy.
In 2015, output at Alabama assembly plants operated by Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai was set to race through 1 million vehicles, a record annual tally for the state. These plants are the sole production sources for vehicles such as the Mercedes GLE-Class (formerly the M-Class) and the Honda Odyssey. These assembly plants produce nine different models, with a 10th, the Honda Ridgeline pickup, poised to join the production lineup in 2016. Together, these three automakers have produced more than 8 million vehicles in Alabama since 1997, when the first M-Class rolled down the line.
Alabama is also a center for engine production. Between them, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda produced nearly 1.7 million engines in Alabama in 2014. Toyota’s Alabama facility is the company’s only plant where four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines are produced under one roof.