"Detroit" used to be a virtual synonym for "cars," because so many American automobiles were made in and around Detroit.
But in recent decades, we have seen car manufacturing grow all around the nation -- with Chattanooga now being a big center for making Volkswagens, and other Volunteer State sites making cars or car parts. Nissan plants are in not-far-away Decherd and Smyrna. There are plans for $1.6 billion in investments to make electric-powered Nissans in Tennessee by 2012. General Motors also has a manufacturing presence in Spring Hill, and Toyota has a facility in Jackson.
All told, the auto-manufacturing industry employs 106,500 Tennesseans -- so far.
That's news we welcome. We also welcome Business Facilities magazine's decision to name Tennessee the top automotive state in America. In descending order, the next nine states are South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi, Texas and Indiana.
We are proud of Tennessee's top ranking and the high rankings of several surrounding states -- and the economic prospects that represents.