The Carolina Core’s manufacturing legacy and logistics advantages have given way to a highly active production and transportation supply chain, from specialty textiles to metal axles, plastics, truck bodies and school buses. The area edges out the competition in automotive industry growth, increasing 30% in employment between 2014 and 2019.
With more than 230 companies in the automotive and heavy truck industries statewide, Caterpillar, GKN, Mack Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Volvo Trucks, Deere Hitachi Construction Machinery and Beta Fueling Systems are among original equipment manufacturers in central North Carolina. Hundreds of precision manufacturers are also supplying parts to BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Honda, Kia and other automotive manufacturers in nearby states.
Manufacturers in the Carolina Core can source and ship parts and reach customers quickly with the area’s well-developed road and rail infrastructure and air access via Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI). FedEx’s robust presence, with its 1 million-square-foot Mid-Atlantic Air Hub at PTI and 400,000-square-foot FedEx Ground facility in Kernersville, gives automotive manufacturers and suppliers guaranteed overnight connection by ground and air.
The Carolina Core’s location and infrastructure make the region a top market for logistics and distribution. XPO Logistics, UPS, Old Dominion Freight Line and Transplace each maintain a large presence in the Carolina Core, while Amazon, Publix, Walmart, Lidl, Harris Teeter, Ashley Furniture, Ralph Lauren, Gildan, Coca-Cola and more operate warehousing and distribution hubs in the region.
Skilled and Diverse Talent Pool
Community colleges play a vital role in the Carolina Core’s pipeline of automotive and transportation talent. Automotive Systems Technology programs are available at Forsyth Technical Community College and Guilford Technical Community College where certifications include ASE, Snap-On, Ford, Toyota and more. Supply Chain Management programs are available at Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Tech and Guilford Tech.
Graduate-level supply chain talent in the Carolina Core is cultivated at North Carolina A&T State University’s College of Business and Economics and UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics and diverse engineers of tomorrow are being educated at four-year institutions including Campbell University, Elon University and High Point University. North Carolina A&T State University, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology, is the No. 1 producer of African American engineering graduates in the United States, while Wake Forest University’s engineering program enriched by liberal arts features a precedent-setting female-majority faculty.
The Carolina Core has a range of real estate options for automotive supply chain companies. From office space for engineering operations to industrial sites and megasites for production facilities, the Carolina Core is ready to deliver on any real estate needs.