Several automotive projects have been announced in the San Antonio market in recent months. Among them: A $400 million transmission plant by Aisin that will employ 900, a nearly $400 million expansion of Toyota's pickup and SUV plant there and a $250 million Navistar truck plant. News Editor Lindsay Chappell spoke with Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Fund, which is attempting to recruit automotive projects to the city, and the foundation's chief development officer, Tom Long, about the outlook for auto industry growth there. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: What's happening with automotive in San Antonio?
Saucedo-Herrera: We've seen a huge uptick in automotive projects. We work with many industries here, but over the past year, about 45 percent of our projects have been in manufacturing, and predominantly in automotive. Our pipeline of future projects is also coming in at 40 percent manufacturing, mostly automotive.
What's driving the investment?
Saucedo-Herrera: For automotive manufacturing, we just had Toyota announce a $400 million expansion of their San Antonio plant. They already had about 20 suppliers on site. The new investment is creating opportunity to work with more suppliers. There are multiple expansion projects underway, and also companies that are new to this area.