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Detroit's Pain Could Be South's Gain

The South is home to eight foreign auto plants and more are on the way
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 8:32 AM CST
Detroit's Pain Could Be South's Gain
Production team member Phillip Hicks installs a door on a Toyota Camry on the assembly line at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky plant in Georgetown, Ky.   (AP Photo/ James Crisp)

(Newser) – Is Greer, SC, the new Motor City? With execs from the Big Three getting a frosty reception to their efforts to wrest $25 billion from the federal government to stay solvent, the home of BMW’s North American operations—as well as other Southern communities that are home to foreign car factories—could rise as Detroit slips, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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Looser work rules, a generally non-union workforce, and more modern production facilities that make it easier to retool and downsize have allowed foreign automakers to more easily adjust to changing market conditions. "If the American car companies died, this is what would replace them," one auto industry consultant tells the Journal. Foreign makers currently operate eight plants in the South with more on the way.
(Read more financial crisis stories.)

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