Volvo in South Carolina, what does that mean for Georgia? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Volvo in South Carolina, what does that mean for Georgia?

(Source: Volvo Cars US) (Source: Volvo Cars US)

For those of you out there still looking at the fact that South Carolina beat Georgia in the fight for that Volvo plant, here's some perspective that might temper your jealousy.

The last time Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was in town, WTOC’s David Klugh asked him what we did wrong and what we could do better.

His answer was a bit of a surprise. And the reality of Georgia's booming automotive manufacturing industry is probably why he moved on the moment Volvo made its decision.

"We made the largest offer of any economic development project in the history of this state. They chose to go elsewhere,” said Governor Deal.

Volvo is ancient history to a state that is now very busy fielding interest from dozens of foreign manufacturers looking for the perfect southern home. For the governor, and Georgia's Department of Economic Development, the automotive wheels are rolling along just fine.
"We're continuing to see parts manufacturers not only for Kia that's located in our state but also Hyundai that's in Alabama, Mercedes that's in Alabama and BMW that's in South Carolina. We have parts manufacturers in Georgia that are supplying parts to most all those major corporations,” said Gov. Deal.

Those parts manufacturers together represent thousands of high paying, skilled labor jobs, and will continue to be an accelerator for even more.  No question, Volvo would have been a plum, but no one from Chatham to Chatooga Counties is complaining about what has come and what is likely on the way.

“We got the largest aerospace company in the southeast. We've got a more diverse economy than Charleston, Certainly Charleston has had some pretty big successes over the past five to six years but that doesn't undermine what we have here at all.  You know our port is ten times better than what they're doing in Charleston. We've got a workforce that I would rival against anybody in the southeast,” said Savannah Economic Development Authority President Trip Tollison.   

Governor Deal and his entire Economic Development team are on a flight back to Atlanta after spending the better part of the week in Germany enticing several manufacturers there to invest in Southern hospitality.

And he's returning with a $30-million commitment from one textile manufacturer who will be building here in Georgia.

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