South Carolina’s network of 250 automotive-related companies and suppliers, including industry leaders like BMW, Michelin, Robert Bosch, represents a major sector of the state’s economy and has been crucial in fueling South Carolina’s economic development. Representing over 5 percent of the State’s employment base, the automotive sector is an integral part of South Carolina’s economy. As a result, a wide range of companies supporting all aspects of automotive manufacturing – from assemblers, parts suppliers, and raw material producers – are based in South Carolina. Overall, South Carolina’s automotive cluster engenders a total economic impact of over $27 billion.


Inland Port Greer opened in October 2013, extending the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland to Greer, S.C., and providing shippers with access to more than 95 million consumers within a one-day drive. Inland Port Greer boosts efficiency for international freight movements between the Port of Charleston and companies located across the Southeast, and the project is expected to create additional economic investment in the South Carolina Upstate, where BMW, Michelin and other international manufacturers already operate.

Norfolk Southern serves Inland Port Greer through its main rail line, and the facility is positioned along the Interstate 85 corridor between Charlotte and Atlanta, where Norfolk Southern operates additional rail yards. Rail service maximizes tonnage moved per gallon of fuel for importers and exporters, helping them save costs and lower their carbon footprint. The inland port adds an additional benefit – access to empty containers – for regional shippers, who can send trucks to Greer for the containers they need to move their goods.


Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research

CU-ICAR is home to the nation’s only graduate Department of Automotive Engineering. Here, over 200 Clemson University students are pursuing Master of Science and/or Ph.D. degrees in Automotive Engineering. Thanks to the work of a world-class faculty, graduate students learn in an innovative research-and-educational program that focuses on the vehicle and its infrastructure from a systems-integration perspective. The entire program is devoted to the discipline of automotive engineering.  


What do air, cars, laptops, plants, knee-replacements and lunch have in common? They all can be and are packaged! Students majoring in packaging science learn all about the design, engineering, science, innovation, research and business that make up this diverse industry. For more than 20 years, Clemson has been thinking outside of the box and producing career-ready graduates who are ready to solve the problems of tomorrow. Clemson is one of just a few schools in the U.S. that offers a degree in packaging science. Our program is unique as it blends together biology, chemistry and physics. Because of this, our graduates fill a special niche within industry. Since this is a very hands-on major, you’ll get to work with package design and graphics, food and health care packaging and advanced materials.


Located in the northwestern corner of South Carolina, Greenville is strategically positioned between two of the largest cities in the Southeastern United States: Charlotte and Atlanta. The Upstate is home to some of the world’s most forward thinking companies including world leaders in the development and application of cutting-edge technologies in a multitude of industries. More than 150 automotive-related companies have chosen Upstate South Carolina for its progressive climate, dynamic workforce and research capabilities. As a long-standing leader in automotive manufacturing and research, Upstate South Carolina continues to grow in importance as a locus for the U.S. car industry.