North Carolina Loses Out on Another Car Manufacturer

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Volvo announced late last week that South Carolina was the winner of their $500M auto manufacturing plant and the 2,000 jobs it will initially bring. This is yet another set back for Governor McCrory's administration, which has lost a series of large manufacturing projects to southern neighbors.

From the Charlotte Observer article,

When it comes to jobs, Gov. Pat McCrory has always been bullish on North Carolina’s chances against its southern neighbor.

“I told Nikki Haley, ‘We’re taking you down,’” he told a business conference in 2013. “She said, ‘Let the best woman win.’ I said, ‘Whatever it takes.’”

But it’s Haley, the governor of South Carolina, who has bagged the biggest trophies.

She claimed her latest economic development prize Monday when Swedish carmaker Volvo announced plans for a $500 million manufacturing plant near Charleston.

It was the state’s latest manufacturing coup.

In March Mercedes-Benz announced plans to invest $500 million in a new plant in North Charleston. That’s where Boeing began making 787 Dreamliners in 2011. And BMW, which started running cars off its Greer assembly plant in 1994, now employs 8,000. The state also has become the nation’s top tire manufacturer.

South Carolina landed Volvo with more than $200 million in state and local incentives. That includes about $120 million in state-issued economic-development bonds, $30 million in grants and $54 million in other incentives.

In the race for Volvo, South Carolina beat out a handful of states, including North Carolina, where McCrory has been fighting for new incentives since his “State of the State” speech in February.

“We need these tools passed in a matter of weeks, not months,” the governor told lawmakers.

Three months later, the General Assembly has yet to pass the governor’s incentive-laden N.C. Competes program. A bill passed the House but not the Senate. 

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