CEO Column

Jennifer Safavian | Reflections On the 2021 South Carolina Automotive Summit

Jennifer Safavian
May 17, 2021

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the SC Automotive Summit, an event celebrating the rich history and bright future of the automotive industry in the Palmetto State. International automakers have been an integral part of South Carolina’s workforce, communities, and economy ever since the first BMW built in the state rolled off the assembly line in Greenville more than 25 years ago.

Fast forward to today and Autos Drive America’s member company-impact in South Carolina is significant, with BMW Manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz Vans, and a new Volvo Car USA plant calling the state home. These companies are completely woven into the fabric of South Carolina’s communities, providing roughly 80,000 American jobs within the state. Investments across South Carolina have created a vast ecosystem of manufacturing facilities, suppliers, dealers, and other businesses that create opportunities and drive growth.

In addition to creating jobs and growing the economy, international automakers provide opportunities for South Carolina’s students and workers through various workforce development programs. Together, Autos Drive America’s member companies provide five robust and comprehensive workforce training programs in South Carolina.

I look forward to our continued work with Autos Drive America’s members, various stakeholders such as the SC Automotive Council, and policymakers at all levels of government to grow the U.S. automotive industry in South Carolina and beyond.