Does South Carolina have a strong automotive-related manufacturing presence?

Absolutely. Please refer to the “Automotive Industry in SC” section for more details. In addition, the Council will release an impact study of South Carolina automotive manufacturing sector in early 2011. It is also commonly referred to as the “Automotive Cluster.”

Why does South Carolina need an Automotive Council?

Automotive manufacturing is a strong and vibrant part of the U.S. economy. The industry’s presence in the Southeast continues to increase, creating what has been deemed the “Southern Automotive Corridor.” South Carolina is poised to take advantage of the automotive sector’s expansion into the South. This will lead to new jobs, new investment, the expansion of existing businesses, as well as fostering research and development. The SCAC exists to insure that South Carolina succeeds in this effort.

The automotive sector operates in an incredibly competitive, global marketplace. The demands are fierce and change is the only constant. South Carolina’s automotive industry must maximize all resources and continually find new and innovative ways to enhance operations. The S.C. Automotive Council will work to support those needs.

In addition, assets like Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) uniquely position South Carolina to be a global leader in research, innovation and industry-education partnerships. The Council provides a unique forum to promote the sector’s interests, enhance its growth and work to collaborate with related partners in the state and throughout the Southeast. South Carolina identified the automotive sector as a long-term target for growth as one of the state’s clusters. The Automotive Council will work to enhance efforts to attract and retain manufacturing and research & development facilities in the state.

 What does “automotive” manufacturing include?

For the Council’s purposes, “automotive” is defined as “ground transportation,” and includes passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorized modes of ground transport, and all related parts and components manufactured for said modes of transportation. It includes OEMs (Original Equipment Suppliers) and Tier suppliers (automotive related suppliers.)

Who is eligible for membership?

Membership is open to any automotive-related manufacturer. Membership is through the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), so all members have access to not only SCAC programs and resources, but also full-membership status in the SCMA.

The SCAC has established an Affiliate Membership for companies who provide technical support and services to the automotive industry.  This membership allows participation in SCAC meetings and events that are closed to non-members.  For more information, please contact Catherine Hayes, Executive Director of the SC Automotive Council: catherine@myscma.com or 864.353.6151.

If I am not eligible for membership, what are other ways to get involved or support the SCAC?

Non-members are eligible to participate in several programs. The online registration system and calendar denotes which events are open to non-members. In addition, sponsorship opportunities afford participation in programs and offer increased exposure to member companies and the public. To learn more about sponsorships, please contact Catherine Hayes, Executive Director of the SC Automotive Council: catherine@myscma.com or 864.353.6151. In addition, the SCAC is always open to new ways to partner and serve its members. We welcome ideas and suggestions for speaker referrals, programs topics, or other ideas on how to partner with businesses and the community.

How is this organization different than other efforts to support manufacturing or the automotive sector?

The S.C. Automotive Council is focused exclusively on the needs and interests of automotive-related manufacturers. The Council strives to work in partnership with all existing organizations and entities in order to insure that the industry’s needs are met and manufacturers take full advantage of programs, services and resources available to them.