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Continued Growth of the KC Automotive Manufacturing Industry

by Mary Rooney | May 06, 2019

With the central location, workforce and transportation infrastructure, Kansas City continues to be a leading option for automotive manufacturing and supplier operations.
The Kansas City region is the number 2 auto industry trading hub in North America, according to the Brookings Institute, and employs more than 16,500 individuals in the auto industry. The transportation manufacturing industry in Kansas City is valued at $16 billion and produces nearly 700,000 vehicles each year.
In the last decade, the Kansas City region has seen significant economic investment from the automotive sector.
One example of this investment is a 359,000-square-foot expansion of the Ford Stamping Plant in Liberty, MO that was announced at the end of 2018. This expansion, which will serve the Transit Van line and the F-150, is expected to add upwards of 267 jobs to the automaker’s workforce over a three-year period. This was the second expansion announced in 2018. In July 2018, a 40,000-square-foot expansion at the stamping plant was approved by the Liberty City Council.
In addition, reinvestment in General Motors’ Fairfax, Kan. operation ($650 million in 2013 and $245 million in 2016) and Ford’s Claycomo, Mo. facility ($1.2 billion in 2011) has resulted in a surge of interest and investment from automotive suppliers looking to the KC region for new facilities.
Interest in KC from automotive suppliers continued in 2018, with three establishing operations in the area:

  • Faurecia Interiors will open a new approximately 250,000-sq.-ft. production facility in Blue Springs, MO, creating more than 300 new jobs. Faurecia will manufacture and assemble door panels and instrument panels using.
  • Dakota Bodies LLC is a manufacturer of custom utility truck bodies. Dakota Bodies manufactures a broad range utility bodies for use in various industries, including the construction, quarrying, mining, transportation, refining, energy and utility industries. The company has selected Kanas City, Missouri for a new manufacturing location.
  • CS Manufacturing Inc. is a full-service injection molder offering total program management capabilities. The company recently selected Grandview, Missouri as the location for a new manufacturing facility.

Kansas City is a center for automotive manufacturing and activity as a host of prominent companies operate within the region. These companies include, but are not limited to: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Garmin, Adient, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., LMV (Magna) Automotive Systems, Peterson Manufacturing Company, Yanfeng USA, Challenge Manufacturing Co., Janesville Acoustics, Grupo Antolin, Lear Corporation, Martinrea Riverside LLC, Magna Seating of America, U.S. Farathane LLC, Leggett and Platt and Faurecia.
Contact KC SmartPort for more information on the benefits of establishing automotive manufacturing operations in the Kansas City region.

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