A report released Sunday by Team NEO
indicates that the growth of the automotive industry in Northeast Ohio will outpace the U.S. in the coming decade. According to the report, the area has the second-largest Tier I auto production markets in the country, meaning that the suppliers here make the parts that go directly on the vehicles. In fact, Northeast Ohio is second only to Detroit.
Team NEO predicts the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in automotive will grow by 79 percent to become a $4.5 billion industry by 2024. Employment is also expected to grow by 19 percent. Jacob Duritsky, managing director of research for Team NEO, attributes the predicted growth to the area’s diverse mix of auto manufacturing.
“No one has a crystal ball, but based on our industry mix, the trend is pretty steady,” Duritsky says. Positive indicators include the jobs brought back to the Avon Lake Ford plant and the scheduled manufacture of Ford’s medium trucks, the F650 and F750, as well as tremendous investment in Ford’s Brookpark and Lordstown plants and Honda’s presence in the state. Automotive is growing here even as it is expected to decline elsewhere in the country, the report says.
Automotive is one of only two manufacturing industries in Northeast Ohio that are expected to grow in the next 10 years. The other is food manufacturing. “We’re expecting manufacturing employment, essentially, to remain flat,” says Jenny Febbo, Team NEO vice president of marketing and communications.