Tennessee has been named the number one state in the nation for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for the third year in a row.
The ranking is made by Business Facilities, a national economic development publication.
"Our strategic focus on the automotive sector has yielded a substantial return for Tennessee and created a magnet for growth, as Tennessee's many strategic advantages make our state the most compelling location for business expansions and relocations in the U.S.," Bill Hagerty, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said.
"For an unprecedented third consecutive year, Tennessee has taken the crown as the top state in Business Facilities' Automotive Manufacturing Strength ranking," Jack Rogers, editor-in-chief, Business Facilities, said. "Fueled by a national revival in the auto sector, Tennessee's assembly lines and supplier networks continue to get bigger and better. VW is ramping up production at its new plant in Chattanooga, Nissan is rolling out the all-electric Leaf in Smyrna and General Motors has given a new mission to the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill. The Volunteer State is putting the pedal to the metal as our undisputed automotive king."
Tennessee earned an additional seven Top 10 honors for economic growth potential, job growth, business and education climate, transportation infrastructure, data center hubs and Race to the Top.
"Every year, there are a handful of states that deliver the best across-the-board performance in our rankings categories. Our 2012 State Rankings Report was a tour de force for Tennessee," Rogers said. "In addition to its No. 1 finish in our Automotive Manufacturing Strength category, the Volunteer State was ranked among the top ten in seven other categories, including our flagship Best Business Climate and Economic Growth Potential rankings. Tennessee's sustained effort to improve its education system placed it among the leaders in our Best Education Climate ranking, an effort which also garnered $500 million in federal Race to the Top funds, third highest in the nation.
"Many states are treading water in today's sputtering economy. With a thriving manufacturing base, a growing skilled workforce and a business-friendly credo, Tennessee continues to move onward and upward," Rogers added.
The accolades don't stop at the state level with Tennessee cities topping several economic development related lists. In the Metro Rankings category, Memphis ranked No. 1 for Logistics Leaders- Air Cargo Hubs and Top 10 for Best Cost of Living, Knoxville ranked eighth for Fastest Growing Cities and Top 10 for Economic Growth Potential and Cookeville ranked in the Top 10 for Best Cost of Living. Memphis not only ranked No. 1 for Logistics Leaders - Air Cargo Hubs in the metro rankings, but No. 1 in the global rankings for the same category.
The complete 2012 Rankings Report will be featured in Business Facilities' July/August issue and available online in late July at businessfacilities.com.