Automotive Manufacturing

As the automotive industry turns to electrification and other advanced technologies, proximity to key resources, an established centralized supply chain and having the right talent are of the utmost importance.

The Kansas City region is a top automotive logistics hub, home to major production facilities for both Ford and General Motors, as well as nearly 70 auto industry suppliers. Additionally, the Kansas City region is a nucleus of engineering, technology, and automotive manufacturing expertise with a strong talent pipeline and cutting edge training programs.
Automotive Suppliers 110221
Kansas City has been named the #2 auto industry trading hub in North America by the Brookings Institution and employs more than 20,941 individuals in the auto and transportation industry. Ford’s KC plant has been cited as its most productive worldwide, producing the new Ford Transit Van and best-selling F-150 truck.

In the last decade, the Kansas City region has seen significant economic investment from the automotive sector. Reinvestment in General Motors’ Fairfax, Kan. operation ($265 million in 2018 and $650 million in 2013), Ford’s Claycomo, Mo. facility ($100 million in 2022, $100 million in 2021, $400 million in 2019 and $1.2 billion in 2011), and Ford's stamping plant in Liberty, Mo. ($101 million in 2020, $5.8 million in 2019 and $260 million in 2011) has resulted in a surge of interest and investment from automotive suppliers looking to the KC region for new facilities.

In July 2022, Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., announced plans to build one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facilities of its kind in the United States in De Soto, Ks. The planned project is expected to create up to 4,000 new jobs and result in an investment of up to $4 billion, which represents the largest economic development project in Kansas history.

The Basics 


112,600 Employed in KC Manufacturing

JobsEQ, 4Q 2022
Note: Data represents KCADC 18-County Region


23,134 Employed in KC Transportation Manufacturing

JobsEQ, 4Q 2022
Note: Data represents KCADC 18-County region


762,000 Annual Automobiles Made in KC

Center for Automotive Research, 2022


$19 Billion KC Transportation Manufacturing Industry

2017 Economic Census

Existing Presence

Kansas City is a center for automotive manufacturing and activity as a host of prominent companies operate within the region. Some of these companies include, but are not limited to:

Speed to Market

Kansas City is a move-in ready market with available Class A building inventory and a strong selection of vertical-ready sites. Over the past 10 years the Kansas City market delivered over 65.5 million sq. ft. of new industrial space. A total of 45.1 million sq. ft. (69%) was delivered on a speculative basis and 20.4 million sq. ft. (31%) was developed as a build-to-suit project. 

Benefits of an Established Automotive Logistics Hub


Ongoing supply chain investment from KC’s automotive industry 

Streamlined supply chain operations and lower operating costs 

Multi-modal transportation infrastructure

Existing manufacturing and distribution operations mean quicker access to suppliers, partners and talent

2nd largest rail center in the U.S.

Workforce Assets

Manufacturing workers in the Kansas City region are 15% more productive than the national average, as measured by JobsEQ in Q4 2022 for output per worker. Automotive transportation production workers in Kansas City have similar age and educational attainment characteristics as the national average. However, Kansas City's automotive manufacturing workforce is three percent younger on average than the aging U.S. automotive production workers. 

KC Engineering & Tech Talent


Contact us about the KC Advantage.

Chris-Headshot-2022Chris Gutierrez
KC SmartPort
M: 816.591.7311
O: 816.374.5680

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Elli-Headshot[2022] croppedElli Bowen
Vice President
KC SmartPort
M: 913.579.3370
O: 816.374.5640

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