Regarding the Sept. 21 news article “ The car chase”: North Carolina needs to exercise caution when attempting to land an automotive assembly plant. In our past, textile mills relocated to our region from New England because of abundant water power, close proximity to cotton production and cheaper labor. When cheaper foreign labor became available, the once prominent industry fell into decline.
We do not need to repeat our past. It is a sad commentary that North Carolina and other Southern states have become a last stop for industries before they relocate in foreign countries with even lower wages.
The last six auto assembly plants were constructed in Mexico, where wages are a fraction of what U.S. autoworkers receive. Mexico is currently home to 16 auto assembly plants, and more than half a million Mexicans are employed in auto-related industries. Toyotas, Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers, Nissans, Hondas and VWs are currently manufactured in Mexico, with plans to expand production to BMWs, Mercedes, Infinitis and Audis. Two-thirds of Mexican autos are exported to the United States, with the remainder going to Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.
When an industry has a manufacturing presence in countries or states with significant wage differences, lower wages win out.
Greg Bruhn, Raleigh