Established Auto Industry

Missouri's Proud Automotive History

The historical importance of the automotive industry sector to Missouri’s economy is significant, reflecting the long tradition of productive workers and successful manufacturers operating in the state. Missouri has been an integral part of the automotive sector since the early days of the industry. In fact, the first locally-manufactured gas engines were built in 1897 by the St. Louis Gasoline Engine Company.

Over the years, Missouri has perennially distinguished itself as a Top 10 state for automotive vehicle production, possessing a base of automotive industrial knowledge unrivaled by most every state in the country.

Nearly one-third of Missouri’s counties have auto industry employment concentrations that exceed the national average. In nearly every county, hardworking Missourians are employed in one of the hundreds of automotive industry-related positions.

Recent Industry Expansions

Ford and General Motors have both recently announced major expansions in Missouri, and new companies like Smith Electric Vehicles and Emerald Automotive have chosen to locate here.

  • The Ford Plant in Claycomo began production as an assembly plant in 1957. In 2011, Ford announced a $1.1 billion investment in the facility, adding a second manufacturing line for the F-150 pickup truck in 2012 and bringing in a new product, the Transit commercial van, in 2013. The investment will create 1,600 new jobs.
  • General Motors’ Wentzville plant produces the Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans. The plant opened in 1983, and it has been the Harbour Report North America "Most Productive Full Size Van Plant" every year since 2003. In September of 2011, General Motors announced a $380 million investment into its Wentzville plant, adding 1,660 jobs and a new Colorado pickup line.
  • Smith Electric Vehicles began production of their Newton electric truck at their new assembly facility in Kansas City in October 2009. In addition to being the company headquarters, the Kansas City plant is currently SEV’s only North American plant.
  • In July 2011, Emerald Automotive, a British company, announced plans to build hybrid electric vans and add 580 jobs at a new $175 million plant in Hazelwood.

Automotive Suppliers in Missouri

Automotive suppliers in Missouri include:

  • TG Missouri Corp
  • Lear Operations
  • Hayes Lemmerz International