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Automotive Suppliers

Industry presence is strong. Mississippi has nearly 200 automotive suppliers that employ approximately 26,000 workers. The TAP Alliance region is home to several automotive suppliers including Tiffin Motor Homes and Caterpillar.

OEM facilities and automotive suppliers are nearby. Mississippi is home to 3 automotive OEM facilities and suppliers: Nissan (Canton), Toyota (Blue Springs), and PACCAR (Columbus). The Toyota facility is 45 miles from the TAP Alliance region. The TAP Alliance is located within 300 miles of 10 automotive OEM facilities. The TAP Alliance is also located less than 30 minutes from the new NAVISTAR facility near Cherokee, Alabama.

Steel mills and fabricators are present in the TAP Region. 36 metal fabrication and steel facilities exist in the TAP region. Yellow Creek Port has an on-site steel processing facility. Severstal, a state-of-the art steel mill, is located in Columbus, about 85 miles from the TAP region.  Another steel mill, Nucor Steel, is located in Decatur, Alabama, about 50 miles from the TAP region.

Transportation is quick and easy. Transportation of products is possible via 4-lane highways, ports, and rail lines. U.S Highway 72 runs east-west through the region and U.S Highway 45 runs north-south. Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Redmont Railway, Tishomingo Railway and Yellow Creek Port Short Line offer rail service in the region. Yellow Creek Port on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway provides water transportation.

Workforce is skilled in manufacturing. The region has a trained workforce that possesses skills desirable to automotive equipment manufacturers. Approximately 30% of workers in the TAP region are employed in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing-specific workforce training is provided by the community college system and technical schools, all located within a few hours drive.

Nearby Customer Base

Automotive Assembly Plants and Suppliers

The TAP Alliance region is within 300 miles of 10 automotive OEM’s and automotive suppliers and within 500 miles of 28 automotive OEM and automotive supplier facilities. The closest plants are Toyota, Nissan, PACCAR, Volkswagen, Navistar, and General Motors (Saturn). The Navistar plant in Cherokee/Barton, Alabama is only 27 miles from the TAP region, accessible by US Highway 72. The Toyota plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, is only 55 miles from the TAP region, accessible via four-lane US Highway 45. The PACCAR facility in Columbus is 100 miles from the TAP region, accessible via US Hwy 45 or MS-25. The Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee (172 miles from TAP) and the General Motors Plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee (133 miles from TAP) are accessible via US 72, a divided four-lane highway and US Route 43, most of which is divided 4-lane.

Auto ManufacturerLocationDistance from Center of TAP Alliance
NavistarBarton, AL27 miles
ToyotaBlue Springs, MS55 miles
MercedesVance, AL164 miles
General Motors (Saturn)Spring Hills, TN126 miles
HondaLincoln, AL193 miles
NissanSmyrna, TN165 miles
VolkswagenChattanooga, TN206 miles
NissanCanton, MS227 miles
HyundaiMontgomery, AL240 miles
KiaWest Point, GA282 miles
FordHapeville, GA303 miles
General MotorsDoraville, GA310 miles
BMWGreer, SC453 miles
General MotorsShreveport, LA455 miles
General MotorsArlington, TX581 miles
General MotorsOklahoma City, OK575 miles
ToyotaSan Antonio, TX835 miles

View a map of regional auto manufacturers (PDF).

Existing Automotive Suppliers in Mississippi

There are 198 automotive suppliers in Mississippi. These include

  • Faurecia
  • Johnson Controls
  • Tower Automotive
  • Martinrea Fabco
  • Lear
  • Yorozu
  • PK USA-Sentobia Plant
  • Toyoda Gosei North American Group
  • Vuteq USA Inc.
  • Boshoku
  • Toyota Auto Body

View a map of Mississippi Tier 1 automotive suppliers (interactive, MDA).


US Highways and Interstates

US Highway 72 (east-west) and US Highway 45 (north-south) are four-lane highways running through the TAP Alliance region. Future Interstate 22 is accessible from Tupelo (50 miles) and connects I-240 and I-40 with I-65 and I-20. Interstates 55, 22, and 40 are accessible from Memphis, approximately 110 miles from the TAP region. Several state highways serve the TAP Alliance region.

View map of highways in North Mississippi (365 KB, PDF)


Water transportation is available via the Tennessee River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW). Yellow Creek Port on the TTW is near Iuka in Tishomingo County. This port is equipped with 200-ton capacity cranes, warehouse, as well as truck and rail facilities. It is a designated Foreign Trade Subzone and a federal HUBZone. Yellow Creek port has an onsite steel processing facility, which in 2012, will install the world’s largest stretcher-leveler. The port also has a cluster of steel processing facilities around it.

The Port of Itawamba also serves the TTW. Located 50 miles from the edge of the TAP Alliance, it has truck and rail facilities, warehouses, conveyor, 60-ton crane, and also provides cargo handling and logistical support.

View a map of ports along the Tenn-Tom Waterway in the TAP Alliance (1.2 MB, PDF)


Rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region include Norfolk-Southern Railroad main line and 4 short lines: Kansas City Southern, Yellow Creek Port, Tishomingo Railroad, and Redmont.

View a map of rail lines serving the TAP Alliance region (1.8 MB, PDF).

Labor Availability and Wages

OccupationCurrent JobsMedian Hourly Earning in TAP RegionMedian Hourly Earning in Mississippi
Accountants and auditors<10$24$24
Assemblers and fabricators<10$11$11
Coating, painting, and spraying machine operators, setters, and tenders<10$14$14
Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic<10N/A$17
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic<10$12$12
Engineering managers<10N/A$46
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic<10N/A$14
General and operations managers30$36$36
Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic<10N/A$14
Helpers, production workers191$11$11
Industrial engineers<10$29$29
Industrial machinery mechanics55$20$20
Industrial production managers34$33$33
Industrial truck and tractor operators74$13$13
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers137$14$14
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand134$10$10
Maintenance and repair workers, general121$13$13
Managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers23$24$24
Managers, all other<10$45$45
Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic<10N/A$16
Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic<10N/A$11
Packers and packagers, hand272$9$9
Production, planning, and expediting clerks14$18$18
Purchasing agents<10$21$21
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products33$23$23
Sheet metal workers<10N/A$13
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks85$12$12
Store clerks and order fillers17$9$9
Team assemblers33$13$13
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers<10$18$18
Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders<10N/A$15
Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive16$12$12
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters<10N/A$17
Source: State Workforce Investment Board (Mississippi),

Specialized Workforce

ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering degree programs and master’s and PhD options in similar areas are available at nearby universities.

Degree ProgramsMississippi State University University of Alabama at HuntsvilleUniversity of MississippiUniversity of Memphis
Aerospace engineeringXX
Biological engineeringX
Biomedical engineeringX
Chemical engineeringXXX
Civil engineeringXXXX
Computer engineeringXXX
Electrical engineeringXXXX
Engineering technologyX
Geological engineeringX
Industrial engineeringXX
Mechanical engineeringXXXX
Optical engineeringX
Software engineeringX
Miles from TAP Region120 miles106 miles92 miles110 miles

Download the North Mississippi Region Labor Study (PDF, 735KB)

Research and Development

Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) – Mississippi State University

Ongoing research at Mississippi State University, approximately 85 miles from the TAP region, focuses on the development of new technology for the processing of materials, production of new designs, and increasing fuel efficiency/reduction of pollution for the automotive industry. Working directly with government agencies and the automotive industry, CAVS produces information and solutions that advance technology.

There are several research teams at the CAVS facility. The Automotive Electronics research team seeks to achieve higher fuel efficiency and reduce pollution using advanced controls and renewable energy.

CAVS Extension

Located in Canton, approximately 190 miles from the TAP region, CAVS Extension:

  • Facilitates the transfer of the technology developed from research at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems to Mississippi’s automotive industry
  • Offers workshops and training in best practices (ex: six sigma, lean manufacturing, metrology, welding for engineers)
  • Provides access to advanced engineering tools and concepts

CAVS Extension has participated in 36 projects statewide, including ones for Nissan, Flexible Flyer, Eaton, Taylor Machine, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Industries, Pioneer, Viking Range, and more. View a full list.

Mississippi Polymer Institute at University of Southern Mississippi

The Institute offers analysis and testing, innovation and commercialization, rapid prototyping, and workforce development to industry. Located in Hattiesburg, approximately 250 miles from the TAP Alliance region.

Workforce Training

Center for Manufacturing Excellence – University of Mississippi

Located approximately 60 miles from the TAP region in oxford, the Center for Manufacturing Excellence focuses on undergraduate manufacturing education, also providing graduate education and research opportunities. With an advisory board composed of representatives from manufacturing companies and university staff, the Center also offers academic and workforce training programs.

Degrees offered in conjunction with the Center

  • Bachelor in mechanical engineering with a manufacturing emphasis from School of Engineering
  • Minor in engineering for students from Schools of Business Administration and Accountancy

Division of Workforce Training and Economic Development at Northeast Mississippi Community College

Offers customized job training to new and existing business and industry. Two training facilities are in the TAP Alliance: Corinth and Booneville. Mobile training units may be available upon request to businesses in the TAP region. Programs through the Division of Engineering Technology and Occupational Education include

  • Electronics/electrical technology
  • Industrial maintenance and technology
  • Machine tool and die technology
  • Auto body repair
  • Auto mechanics and service
  • Diesel power technology

Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence at East Mississippi Community College

Offers training relevant to Mississippi industries to create technically proficient workers. 112 miles from the TAP region.

Workforce Services

Offers customized training to industry and core courses to individuals. Classes include

  • Basic manufacturing skills
  • Precision assembly
  • Machining/CNC
  • Welding
  • Diesel theory
  • Instrumentation/process control
  • Industrial motor controls
  • And more

Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis

Workforce training is offered through traditional and distance learning systems. The Center is 110 miles from the TAP region and has NATEF Accredited Automotive Technology and Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Programs.

Tax Incentives for National or Regional Headquarters

Companies establishing a regional or national headquarters in Mississippi can receive tax credits to reduce state income tax liability and/or a sales and use tax exemption.

National or Regional Headquarters Tax Credit

The incentive includes

  • Between $500-$2,000 per position in credits
  • Up to 5-year period


  • Must meet headquarters classification
  • Minimum creation of 35 qualified jobs within one year period

Learn more about this tax credit.

National or Regional Headquarters Sales Tax Credit

This incentive applies to building materials and machinery/equipment and includes

  • Exemption from beginning of project until 3 months after start-up
  • Contractor’s tax is not exempt


  • Minimum creation of 35 new headquarters jobs

Learn more about this tax credit.

Financial Incentives Specific to Manufacturers

Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

This tax credit includes

  • 5% of eligible project investment
  • Can not exceed $1,000,000

Requirements include

  • Operated in Mississippi for at least two years
  • Invested at least $1,000,000 in additional buildings and/or equipment
    Learn more about this manufacturing tax credit

Mississippi offers a variety of tax incentives, grants and loans for business and industry. View a listing of more incentives by visiting the incentives page.

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