October 11, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Alabama Auto Exports Up 35 Percent From 2010

The Birmingham News- October 09, 2011

Alabama's auto exports continue to climb this year. Through July, the latest data available, the value of state-made vehicles shipped around the world topped $3.1 billion, a 35 percent improvement from the first seven months of 2010.  Canada is the No. 1 destination for those vehicles, followed by China, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, other markets for state-made vehicles are showing significant year-over-year growth, including Iraq, Chile, India, Colombia and South Africa.

Autos have long been Alabama's top export, and they continue to drive the state's overall export growth, said Hilda Lockhart, director of the Alabama Development Office's International Trade Division."National exports are up 17.6 percent from July 2010 to July 2011 while Alabama exports are up 22.15 percent for the same time period," she said.

Mercedes is the key driver of the state's auto exports, since about 60 percent of the output at the company's Vance factory is exported. And, those exports should grow following a planned expansion at Mercedes. In the summer, the automaker announced a series of upcoming projects that would require an additional $2 billion investment in Vance. The work includes raising the plant's annual production capacity to as many as 250,000 vehicles, up from 160,000 now.

Honda and Hyundai also export vehicles from their Alabama auto plants, but in much smaller numbers and to fewer markets.

Along with autos, the rest of the state's top five export commodities are showing improvement over last year, as total exports top $10.2 billion through July. The No. 2 export, coal, is up 44

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