In Tennessee, 11.45% of the workforce works in manufacturing. In 2018, manufacturing produced $56.01 billion in total. Additionally, Tennessee had an average of 351,000 manufacturing workers in 2018, and their average yearly pay in 2017 was $70,971.12.
Tennessee’s low labor costs, good infrastructure, and welcoming business climate continue to entice industries. Tennessee remains a top location for business thanks to large strengths in the transportation equipment, food processing, and machinery industries. The state was ranked fifth in the country for its business climate by the International Economic Development Council (IDEC).
Largest Manufacturing Companies in Tennessee
10. Volkswagen Group of America (Chattanooga, TN)
Further demonstrating Tennessee’s strength in the transportation equipment industry, German automaker Volkswagen secured this major operation in Chattanooga in 2011, where the company recently produced its millionth vehicle. 2,500 employees work at this plant, thanks to which the Volkswagen Passat, Atlas, and, recently, the Atlas Cross Sport are done.
9. Nissan North America (Franklin, TN)
Nissan’s headquarters in Franklin serves as the North American headquarters, with 2,500 employees. The Franklin plant manufactures cars, trucks, forklifts, and auto parts. Nissan originally came to the country in 1958 to sell cars, and in 1960 it started importing and producing Datsun cars under the name Nissan Motor Corporation in the U.S.A. (N.M.C.). Nissan’s North American activities, based in Franklin, Tennessee, cover automotive styling, engineering, consumer and business finance, sales and marketing, distribution, and production for the US, Canada, and Mexico.
8. Carrier Global Corp. (Collierville, TN)
Another major appliance manufacturer, Carrier Global Corp, manufactures heating and air conditioning units at this facility for 2,500 employees. The Carrier Global Corp. was founded by Willis Carrier in 1915 following his invention of the modern air conditioner in 1902.
7. Major Appliances Electrolux (Springfield, TN)
Electrolux is a global manufacturer of home goods and appliances that sells approximately 60 million household products annually in 120 different markets worldwide. The industry’s Tennessee plant focuses on electric and gas stoves and employs 2,800 people.
6. McKee Foods Corp. (Collegedale, TN)
McKee Foods Corp. is a food processing company that produces popular treats such as Little Debbie Cakes and Drake’s Devil Dogs. McKee’s Tennessee plant made news in March 2020 when it announced plans to expand its Collegedale facility and add 482 jobs. Mckee is the fourth largest industrial employer in the state, with 3,500 jobs.
5. DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee (Maryville, TN)
DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee’s Maryville location ranks fifth on our list of top industrial employers and is one of two in the state. The 4,428-employee facility manufactures automotive electronics, including automotive starters, alternators, electronic parts, instrument clusters, and body electronics for Toyota and other automakers.
4. Consolidated Nuclear Security (Oak Ridge, TN)
Consolidated Nuclear Security manufactures nuclear weapons and components at this 4,500-employee facility in Oak Ridge. The Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex facility are under the management of Consolidated Nuclear Security. The firms that comprise Consolidated Nuclear Security include Bechtel, Leidos, A.T.K. Launch Systems, and SOC LLC. One of the teaming subcontractors is Booz Allen Hamilton.
3. Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN)
Eastman Chemical’s Kingsport plant, founded in 1920 by George Eastman, is a significant producer of industrial chemicals and plastic resins, including materials such as Durastar, Collolyn, and Plato.
2. Nissan North America (Smyrna, TN)
Nissan’s Smyrna plant is another major player in the auto industry. With 8,000 employees, it’s among the largest and most productive in the U.S. Founded in 1983, Nissan produces 640,000 vehicles a year and has well-known brands such as Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Rogue, and Nissan LEAF.
1. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation (Nashville, TN)
Founded in 1931, Bridgestone is a Japanese multinational automotive supplier. The Nashville location serves as the company’s U.S. headquarters and manufactures commercial and industrial automotive tires and rubber inner tubes. Bridgestone employs 8,200 people and is the largest industrial employer in Tennessee.
Frequently asked questions
What are the three major industries in Tennessee?
Although a diverse range of businesses dominates Tennessee’s commercial sector, the state’s top service sectors include healthcare, transportation, music and entertainment, banking, and finance.
What products are manufactured in Tennessee?
The state produces a lot of chemicals, metal goods, food (including drinks and tobacco), transportation equipment, computers and electronic equipment, and food. Since the late 20th century, the production of automobiles has been one of Tennessee’s fastest-growing industries.
What is the largest industry in Tennessee?
Ambulatory healthcare services make up Tennessee’s largest industry, contributing 4.8% of the $376.6 billion state’s overall GDP. The industry generates $18.2 billion in economic production annually, a 17.1% rise over the previous five years.
Which manufacturing business is most profitable?
The furniture manufacturing business is the most profitable. The market for multi-purpose furniture is expected to reach $27 billion by 2022 due to its rising demand. A leather manufacturing company is the second most profitable business.
Does Tennessee have manufacturing?
Each year, Tennessee exports more than $34 billion worth of produced goods. Pharmaceuticals, navigational equipment, and medical equipment and supplies make up the majority of our exported goods.
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