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Automotive Manufacturing

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Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi are prime locations for the automotive industry, offering a business-friendly environment where auto manufacturers and their suppliers can operate successfully.

This area of the Southeast has the capacity to provide key resources for the auto industry: a skilled workforce, Right-to-Work laws, access to raw materials, transportation networks, proximity to markets, and affordable energy.

A testament to the business opportunity in this region is the successful 2014 launch of the new Nissan Murano, built in Canton, Mississippi. Meeting all the quality standards, this high-tech crossover vehicle rolled off the assembly line only a short distance from customers in major U.S. markets. The Canton plant is a global facility equipped to build a variety of car and truck models and is established as a hub for expanding exports of the Murano to more than 100 markets.

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Job Growth in the Automotive Cluster

Entergy Region on Track to Outpace U.S. by 9.3%

*Source: EMSI 2015.3


Class 1 Rail Lines


Major Interstate Highways

The Entergy Region is the Gateway to U.S. and Global Auto Markets


Change in Job Growth in the Automotive Manufacturing Cluster from 2014-2019

Mississippi on Track to Outpace U.S. by 14.8% by 2019

*Source: EMSI 2015.3


  • Average wages in Entergy Mississippi territory are more than 30 percent lower than the U.S.
  • Mississippi is a Right-to-Work state.
  • The Entergy Mississippi area’s workforce is over 600,000 strong, with 10 percent employed in manufacturing.
  • Nearly 9,500 workers are employed in automotive manufacturing in the Entergy Mississippi territory.
  • The Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University conducts research, engineering design and development and technology transfer.
  • Mississippi is home to automotive manufacturers Nissan and Toyota.
  • More than 150 transportation equipment manufacturing-related establishments are in Mississippi.

Raw Materials

  • Three steel plants are located in Mississippi and four additional plants are located near the state line.
  • Nearly 50 plastics and rubber manufacturers are located in Mississippi.


  • Mississippi has 28 rail systems, including the following Class 1 carriers: Burlington Northern Railway, CSX Transportation, Canadian National Railway, Kansas City Southern Railroad and Norfolk Southern.
  • Bordering the state of Mississippi to the west, the Mississippi River begins in Minnesota and runs more than 2,000 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Six ports are located within the Entergy Mississippi territory with access to the Mississippi River.
  • The Port of Memphis is located in adjacent Shelby County, Tennessee.
  • The Mississippi ports include the Port of Rosedale, Port of Greenville, Yazoo County Port, Port of Vicksburg and the Natchez-Adams County Port.
  • Mississippi’s highway system connects to essential regional markets including New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta with six interstates and 14 federal highways.
View Automotive Manufacturing Incentives in Mississippi


Business Climate

  • Louisiana is ranked as one of the best business climates:
    • #1 for incentive programs
    • #1 exporting state in the country
    • Best-performing state economic development agency
    • Lowest state/local tax burden in the U.S. for new manufacturing projects
    • Lowest business tax structure for capital-intensive manufacturing and labor-intensive manufacturing facilities (Tax Foundation/KPMG study)
  • Industrial utility rates are among the lowest in the South.
    • Second-lowest industrial electricity rates in the South (2012-2015 avg.)
    • Lowest industrial natural gas rates in the South (2012-2015 avg.)
  • Louisiana has been a right-to-work state for over 30 years –
    • with one of the 15 lowest unionization rates in the country,
    • a private workforce unionization rate of only 3.8%, and
    • no requirement for employees to join a union at their place of employment, even if the facility is unionized.


  • LED FastStart® has ranked as the nation’s best state workforce training program for the past ten consecutive years.
  • Comprehensive, customized recruitment, screening, training development and training delivery are offered through LED FastStart® – all at no cost.
  • LED FastStart® staff has delivered customized workforce solutions for a variety of automotive companies – GM, Honda, Ford, Kia, Suzuki, Yamaha, Pirelli, Toyo Tires, Kubota, Mahindra.
  • Skilled workers for the automotive sector are available from a statewide manufacturing workforce of 800,000.


  • Public postsecondary institutions near the Franklin Farm site:
    • University of Louisiana at Monroe
    • Louisiana Tech University
    • Grambling State University
    • Eight campuses of the Louisiana Delta Community College System

Logistics Advantage

  • Louisiana’s robust logistics options provide convenient access to North American markets.
    • Six interstate highways form a well-positioned grid with access to water and rail connections from all six.
    • Louisiana’s extensive port system forms the gateway to 35 interior states through the Mississippi River system and to worldwide markets through the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Louisiana has six Class 1 railroads and 2,940 miles of track in freight service.
  • The state’s strategic low-cost location serves the Southern Auto Corridor and Mexico.
  • An extensive OEM and supplier network are accessible within the Southern Auto Corridor.
View Automotive Manufacturing Incentives in Louisiana



  • Arkansas is a Right-to-Work state.
  • The statewide average hourly wage is less than $20.00 per hour.
  • The 1.3 million skilled and trained workforce is projected to increase 7% from 2013-2023.
  • Arkansas has the second highest percentage of manufacturing employment in the South.
  • Workers in welding and metal fabrication related occupations are expected to increase more than 9% by 2024 to 8,116 in the Entergy Arkansas area.
  • Engineers are projected to increase more than 5% over the next five years in Entergy Arkansas territory.

Access to Raw Materials and Markets

  • More than 100 metal fabrication establishments are located in Arkansas.
  • More than eighteen OEM Parts Suppliers and ten Aftermarket Automotive Parts Suppliers doing business in Arkansas.
  • Over 100 million customers are located within a 550-mile radius of Arkansas, which represents 40% of the total U.S. population.


  • Three Class 1 railroads serve Arkansas, including Union Pacific, BNSF and Kansas City Southern
  • Five commercially navigable waterways, including the Arkansas River, Mississippi River, Ouachita River, Red River and White River, provide additional transportation options
  • Three major interstate highways traverse Arkansas, connecting to major population centers within a day’s drive

Cost of Doing Business

  • Amendment 82 authorizes bond financing for super projects that meet certain criteria. Approximately $185 million in bonding capacity is available. Funds can be used for site preparation, infrastructure and workforce training.
  • Incentives: property tax abatements through IRBs, foreign trade zones, sales/use exemptions, tax back sales/use tax refunds, fully funded Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund
  • Arkansas has the fourth lowest cost of doing business int he nation according to a 2015 CNBC ranking.
View Automotive Manufacturing Incentives in Arkansas

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