Southern auto industry wary of Mexican competition

Southern auto industry wary of Mexican competition

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By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA (AP) - Southern states accustomed to luring investments away from the Midwest are casting a wary eye to competition from Mexico.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was asked at the Southern Automotive Conference in Chattanooga about what steps can be taken to keep investments from moving abroad, especially in light of a recent decision by German automaker Audi to build its first North American plant in Mexico.

Haslam said Southern governors need to work toward a more regional approach to attracting investment, rather than playing off of each other.

Dennis Cuneo, a former Toyota executive, said the South should seek to make up for lower wages in Mexico by stressing education and continuing to improve infrastructure in the region. He also argued that attracting auto parts suppliers should become a greater priority.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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