For North Carolina, life in the auto industry so far has been a story of "always a bridesmaid, never a bride." Automakers have invested billions and hired thousands at plants all over the Southeast, but North Carolina has never managed to attract one.
The state is keeping a stiff upper lip about it, ever hopeful. But it didn't help having President Donald Trump high-five Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan to thank him for "sending many automobile companies into Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and North Carolina."
Trump even circulated a glossy map of new Japanese auto industry plant projects announced around the U.S. Close examination reveals a slew of investments east of the Mississippi River. But North Carolina's spot on the official map?