Auto Industry Helps Drive Northeast Ohio

Home to more than 600 establishments that are directly involved
in the automotive industry, Ohio is an automotive powerhouse. This
is especially true for the Northeast Ohio region whose deep ties to
the manufacturing industry continue to play an important role in
the region’s economic success. From raw materials to original
equipment manufacturers, the entire automotive supply chain exists
in Northeast Ohio, making it a major piece of our regional

Historically speaking, manufacturing has long been the backbone
of Northeast Ohio’s economy with the automotive industry
playing an integral role. While gross regional product (GRP) in
manufacturing is projected to increase in the years ahead,
employment is expected to decline, due in large part to advances in
automation techniques. The automotive sector, however, is one of
only two manufacturing sectors projected to add new jobs over the
next decade. In fact, automotive employment is expected to grow by
19 percent by 2024. Automotive GRP is also expected to grow during
this time and actually outpace the national average (Team NEO Quarterly Economic Review).

Given the region’s breadth of expertise in the automotive
industry, there are a number of companies helping to cement
Northeast Ohio’s position as an automotive powerhouse. The
General Motors Lordstown Complex, for example, has been the proud
maker of the Chevrolet Cruze since 2010. The Lordstown facility
“…is among the highest volume single line vehicle
assembly facilities in the world…”  producing more
than 15 million vehicles since opening its doors in 1966. The Cruze
is General Motor’s fourth best-selling vehicle making the
Lordstown plant an important location for the automaker (General Motors).

In Brook Park, Ford’s Engine Plant No. 1 is also a
significant player as the facility manufactures the popular
EcoBoost engine. Built in the 1950s, the Brook Park complex was
once Ford’s second largest site, covering 450 acres.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, Ford spent nearly $200 million to retool
the facility in order to manufacture the new EcoBoost engines. In
October of 2015, Ford began training 220 workers for a second shift
at Engine Plant No. 1, which boasts more than 1,500 total

In addition to its Brook Park complex, Ford has also made a
significant investment at its Avon Lake plant. The company began
production of its F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks in August of
2015. In order to manufacture the new trucks, Ford invested $168
million to make the necessary renovations at the Avon Lake
facility. What is more, Ford moved production of the F-650 and
F-750 trucks from a plant in Mexico to Ohio, furthering
illustrating Ohio’s importance to the auto

While Northeast Ohio has always had strong ties to
America’s major automakers, it is also attracting investments
from international companies. Recently, German-based auto parts
maker, Borgers, opened a new facility in Norwalk, OH. The facility
could employ as many as 230 people over time. Borgers’
selection of Norwalk for its facility is yet another indication of
Northeast Ohio’s strength in the automotive

Given Northeast Ohio’s strong manufacturing roots, the
automotive industry is expected to remain as an important piece of
the region’s overall economy. As manufacturing as a whole
becomes more automated in terms of production, the auto industry
will benefit from these production efficiencies yet it will also
create new jobs for Northeast Ohio’s workers. With ongoing
automotive-related investments being made throughout the region by
Ford, Borgers and others, the automotive industry is on target to
be an important economic driver for decades to come.

To learn more about what makes Northeast Ohio an automotive
powerhouse, follow the links below.

+Team NEO forecasts rapid growth for auto business
in the region

+Ford plans second shift in Brook Park for work on
record-setting EcoBoost engines

+Avon Lake Ford plant starts production of trucks
dubbed “The Beast”