Gov. Nikki Haley recently received the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association’s (MEMA) inaugural State Leadership Award at the Drive Automotive facility in Piedmont. A MEMA affiliate member nominated the Governor for the award, given for outstanding assistance to the motor vehicle supplier industry by an elected state official, according to the association.
“Governor Haley is committed to bringing jobs to South Carolina and has fought hard for the motor vehicle supplier industry in her state,” said Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO. “MEMA is proud to award her with the first State Leadership Award and continue a prosperous relationship.”
In South Carolina alone, motor vehicle parts manufacturers directly employ 24,569 people. Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 8,000 jobs in the automotive-related sector.
“We have worked hard to strengthen our state’s business-friendly climate to help companies more easily find success. And we certainly understand the enormous economic impact the automotive industry has on our state. It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts and I look forward to continuing to do everything I can to make sure South Carolina is the ‘it’ state for business,” said Gov. Haley.
The award presentation took place at Drive Automotive, a manufacturing division of Cosma International, an operating unit of Magna International Inc. Its customers include General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, as well as Freightliner and BMW. Magna is a member of MEMA affiliate Original Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Drive Automotive plans to expand its South Carolina facility with an investment of $50 million and the creation of 60 new jobs. The company will add 150,000 square feet to the facility, and expects to have the expansion completed by the third quarter.
“Congratulations to Gov. Haley for being recognized today with this prestigious award,” said Craig Lane, general manager of Drive Automotive. “Under the governor’s leadership on this expansion project, we have been fortunate to work with many talented and committed people at the state and local level who understand our business and help achieve common goals. We are pleased to be able to bring additional jobs and investment to the Greenville community, and we look forward to continued success in the service of our customers.”
MEMA represents its members through four affiliate associations: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA); Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA); Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA); and, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on the motor vehicle parts supplier industry, visit www.mema.org.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce won the Gold Shovel Award and the Project of Year Award from Area Development magazine in 2012. Also, the state was ranked first in attracting jobs through foreign investment by IBM-Plant Location International. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Heinz, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.