State joins ranks of big-time auto producers
Because it’s located outside the country’s traditional auto belt, you might be surprised to learn that Texas was recently ranked seventh in the nation for employment in motor vehicle manufacturing, providing paychecks for 35,800 workers at 466 firms when measured by the state in 2014. The Texas auto industry is looking very healthy!
Those numbers represent 24 percent industry job growth over a four-year period. In fact, between 2003 and 2016, the state ranked third nationwide in growth of auto-industry jobs.
“During what has been a very challenging period overall for the auto industry, [Texas auto manufacturers] have fared pretty well,” economist Brian Kelsey told news site Austin American Statesman last year. “The industry’s future here appears to be bright.”
A large part of that upswing can be attributed to industry growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the 13-county area of north Texas that also encompasses Arlington. That city is the site of a General Motors plant undergoing a $1.4 billion expansion, making it 4.4 million square feet in size by next year. Already, some 4,100 Texas auto employees there produce 1,245 full-size sport utility vehicles daily.
The Metroplex is also considered prime real estate for industry expansion due to its low-cost industrial environment, its skilled workforce and its convenient location on the supply route to and from Mexico. This is leading economists to predict even more job growth over the next decade.
Arlington in particular is characterized by “critical elements of the automotive supply chain including metal fabrication, electronic components, glass and plastics production and increasingly high technology and software development,” reports the Arlington city website.
A booming scene for Texas auto manufacturers!
Elsewhere in the state, Toyota opened a 3,000-worker plant in San Antonio in 2006 that’s slated to build a quarter of a million trucks this year. The auto giant is also consolidating workers from four other U.S. cities into its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.
Other interesting facts about the Metroplex’s auto industry:
- The Dallas area saw its first “horseless carriage” in 1902, a model built by inventor Carl Benz. By 1915, both Ford and Chevrolet operated plants in the Dallas area.
- A small group of Dallas-area manufacturers and dealers beat Detroit innovators in popularizing auto air conditioning in the early 1950s.
- Other major automotive suppliers in the Metroplex include Dallas-based semiconductor giant Texas Instruments (about 6,000 workers); Houston-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber (800); Martin Sprocket and Gear of Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth (750); Arlington-based Lear Corp. (600) and Fort Worth-based BrandFX Body Co. (450).
Build skills for Texas auto careers!
Lincoln Tech’s Grand Prairie, Texas campus in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex offers hands-on career training in the auto and diesel fields, along with skilled trades like manufacturing, HVAC and Welding. Students from around the country come to train at Lincoln Tech – if you’ve been thinking about a career working on the auto technology you love, it’s time to look into Lincoln Tech!