The U.S. Automotive industry is shifting to the Southeast. The Charlotte Region is at the center of this change.

More than 63,000 people work in automotive sectors in the region, and nearly 16,500 of those work in high-value manufacturing. That’s more than most peer cities, and the sector continues to grow. In the past two years alone, 20 automotive-related companies have announced plans to locate or expand in the region, adding a total of nearly 1,300 new jobs.

Around 90% of all NASCAR teams are headquartered in the region. But it’s not all fun and games. Talented engineers and mechanics working for NASCAR teams have spun off advanced manufacturing operations of their own, adding to the existing industry’s strong base. Community colleges, trade schools and universities award nearly 700 auto-manufacturing-related certificates and degrees each year, providing an additional talent pipeline.