Located at the crossroads of four states, Texarkana is known for its iconic courthouse and post office building, a building that sits bestride the state line between Texarkana, Arkansas and its sister city, Texarkana, Texas.
Established sectors and economic prosperity in Texarkana
Officially, the metropolitan statistical area is a three-county region comprising the twin cities of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas, and encompassing the surrounding communities of Bowie County, Texas, Little River County, Arkansas and Miller County, Arkansas.
Alongside defence and logistics, the manufacturing industry is one of the leading sectors driving people to seek investment opportunities in Texas and invest in Arkansas.
This already successful tradition of and infrastructure for manufacturing makes the region a prime location to set up an automotive business.
With a $4.8bn GDP, this region represents a pro-business, pro-investment environment. There are several significant business clusters in Texarkana that include food processing and manufacturing.
Texas leading the way in automotive industry employment rates
Historically in the US, the traditional heartland of the automobile industry is the Midwest. In the south-east, Texas currently ranks as one of the top ten states in the US by the number of automotive workers and number of auto manufacturing establishments.
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As of 2022, in excess of 450 automotive manufacturing firms directly employ more than 35,800 workers in Texas, showing the potential for investors looking to start an automotive business in the Texarkana region.
With salaries averaging $58,700 for automotive manufacturing workers in Texas, start-up manufacturing facilities can attract workers, making starting up a business more attractive.
Regional ranking driving automotive sector businesses
Texas is nationally ranked in the top ten for automotive manufacturing employment and establishments.
It also features in the list of most important states in terms of the size of the vehicle retail market and the number of vehicle registrations.
With a vibrant sector continuing to grow, the region could be considered as a contender for the best place to set up an automotive business in the US.
In early 2023, Tesla Inc. applied for construction permits to move ahead with more than $700 million in investments on their Austin campus, the newest manufacturing plant in the state.
With major industry names including Tesla expanding, the automotive manufacturing sector in the region looks set to enjoy sustained growth.
Texarkana auto corridor encourages automotive manufacturing
Texas is a significant state in the growing Nafta auto corridor.
When looking for the best place to set up an automotive manufacturing facility, the billions of dollars of assembled vehicles and auto parts shipped between this region and Mexico is key.
This established automotive sector infrastructure and business activity showcases the potential for starting up here, with all the benefits of starting in a business-friendly environment.
Already present in the industry in this region are facilities that include the assembly of complete cars and trucks, as well as the manufacturing of motor vehicle frames, chassis, cabs, utility trailers, military vehicles and automotive gasoline engines.
Looking at existing industry activity is a key factor when selecting the best place to set up an automotive business, something the Texarkana region has plenty of.
Texas is home to two major passenger vehicle assembly plants operated by General Motors (GM) and Toyota. Arlington has had a GM plant operating for 60 years, a facility that currently produces ES SUVs.
Though more recent, since 2006, Toyota has established Texas as its base to produce pick-ups.
Regional economic support fueling manufacturing growth
AR-TX REDI, Texarkana’s regional economic development organisation, is committed to helping businesses connect with economic development opportunities throughout the entire Texarkana region.
When assessing the best place to start an automotive business, Texarkana support networks can be just as important as determining whether there are positive fiscal forecasts for the sector.
Another potential reason that this may be considered the best place to start up an automotive business is the targeted fiscal support.
Within Texarkana, companies that relocate or start-ups (older than two years old) in Arkansas are offered what is locally referred to as the ‘InvestArk’ benefit.
The state offers a non-transferable and non-refundable tax credit equal to 7% of all eligible project expenditures. If your business has unused credits then they can be carried forward for a maximum period of nine years.
AR-TX REDI continues to be inspired by the region’s long history in manufacturing, and the potential its strategic location offers to companies.
Information and Data from Global Business Alliance, AR-TEX Redi, US Data and Statistics, Images of Texarkana: A Visual History. ‘An Impressionistic History’ Texarkana Pioneer Family Histories, Texas Business, Arkansas Dept Of Commerce, City of Houston.