As a country that has an established automotive industry, the US offers myriad opportunities businesses in the industry.  

With about 76% of the US population owning a car, the demand is axiomatic, and with some $1.5trn in revenue being generated from road vehicle and parts in retail trade per annum, the industry is financially strong.  

Beyond Detroit, the home of the automotive industry in the US, there are several places that offer attractive economic reasons for setting up a business in this sector. 

Ohio tax initiatives and innovation help grow the automotive business 

When looking for the best place to set up an automotive business in the US, Ohio has major cities including the economic hubs of Columbus and Cleveland.  

Though there are other locations that offer fiscal incentives and tax breaks for small and medium-sized enterprises, focusing on two gives an idea of what potential business start-ups can expect. 

When it comes to the automotive manufacturing business, Columbus and Cleveland, along with other locations in the state, have a range of positive attributes for those considering the best place to set up an automotive business.  

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Numerous sector-specific R&D facilities, a highly skilled automotive industry workforce, excellent market access, and a comprehensive supply chain are just a few things that have helped Ohio emerge as a leader in the automotive industry in the US.  

In addition to tax incentives and the excellent business landscape, this is a state that is championing innovation through collaboration.  

As smart mobility, AI and automotive automotive-related technology advances, Ohio’s automotive industry is at the forefront of the electric vehicle manufacturing industry.  

With two major industry names, Honda and LG Energy Solution, investing in a new electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Fayette County, the chase for the title of the best place to set up an automotive business in Ohio remains competitive.  

This investment alone is forecast to create 2,200 jobs with the companies both committing to an additional input of about $3.5bn in the next few years.  

Ohio automotive business driven by thriving Columbus economy 

The state city of Columbus has a population of about 900,000. As with other cities in the state, it has a high-performing and increasingly diverse economy. 

Major employers in Ohio incorporate a range of sectors, including education, banking, fashion, defence, aviation, food, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, healthcare, hospitality, retail and technology.  

According to a report by real estate research company Relocate America, Columbus is one of the primary markets for growth in property sales.  

With a range of industries and burgeoning population growth, the overall market conditions on offer in Columbus make it one of the best places to set up an automotive business in both Ohio and the US.  

Cleveland business landscape a draw for automotive companies 

The city of Cleveland is home to cultural institutions, national sports teams and many prosperous industries, including the automotive sector. With a GDP of about $135bn in 2019, it is one of the economic hubs of Ohio.  

Boasting a diverse economy, Cleveland has major employers from many sectors including healthcare, banking, finance, education, insurance, manufacturing, sports and high-tech.  

The Cleveland economy is proving to be a friendly environment for start-up businesses, with various tax incentives available for new enterprises.  

In terms of selecting the best place to set up an automotive business, Cleveland offers the benefits of existing sector infrastructures and a highly skilled workforce, but has also introduced financial incentives.  

The Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit scheme provides the opportunity for business owners to obtain a refundable tax credit against their commercial activity tax, insurance premium tax, Ohio corporate franchise tax and an employee’s individual personal income taxes 

It is this kind of business investment incentive that suggests Cleveland should appear on the list when exploring the best place to set up an automotive business US-wide 

Signalling the growth of emerging industries in Ohio, Forbes magazine has forecast that Cleveland could be the next major US tech hub, with 180 tech companies already trading in the area.  

With this new tech economy, the population is growing and the benefits for other businesses are numerous, including a population with more disposable income for items such as cars and real estate.  

As the erstwhile centre of the US automotive industry, home to seven major car manufacturers, Cleveland has a storied history in this sector. 

Information, Data, and Statistics from Statistica, Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, Ohio Chamber of Industry and Commerce, US Census Bureau