Northeast Indiana has a history of innovation and manufacturing in the automotive sector. We’ve produced some of the first cars—such as the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg—as well as some of the earliest trucks by International Harvester. Today, the Fort Wayne area continues to have a very high concentration of vehicle manufacturing making up 19 percent of the manufacturing employment in the region.

The Fort Wayne region continues to have a very high concentration of vehicle manufacturing, with those jobs making up 19 percent of the manufacturing employment compared to 13 percent for the United States.

Strong Workforce

Percentage of the vehicles industry sector workforce in 2019, according to Emsi:

  • Northeast Indiana  – 8%
  • Indiana – 5%
  • Ohio – 3%
  • Michigan – 5%

Driving a Competitive Workforce 

There’s something magnetic about a go-getter and a no-quitter, and you’ll find that grit here. Every opportunity to exercise our deep-rooted determination is welcomed, and it’s why our business landscape is so fruitful. This is a good place for business, especially if you’re in the automotive business. Let us show you why:

  • As the first state in the Great Lakes region to establish right-to-work laws, Indiana now prohibits agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment.
  • Average labor costs for automotive workers in the area fall below the industry national average. 
  • The vehicle employment base in the Fort Wayne area is diverse. There is a major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive assembly plant; many tier I, II , and III component suppliers; and manufacturers of truck components, recreational vehicles, and trailers.
  • The region’s largest automotive manufacturer, General Motors, is investing $1.2 billion in its full-size pickup truck plant for upgrades and technology that will improve the plant’s competitiveness in assembling high-quality light- and heavy-duty models.

By the Numbers 

Vehicles - Employment and Wages

Source: Emsi 2018.2; QCEW

Vehicles - Major Employers

Source: 2017.2 Community Research Institute at IPFW

You’re in the driver's seat. Want to learn more about your place in Northeast Indiana? Take a look at our accolades and rankings. From our status as a business-friendly region to our centralized location, we can help you find a fit for your automotive business.

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