S.C. leads nation in exports of tires, passenger vehicles

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 2:43 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - With two Bridgestone tire plants in Aiken County, it’s big local news that South Carolina in 2022 was the national leader for the export of tires for the seventh year in a row, with sales exceeding $1.7 billion.

The state was the national leader in the export of completed passenger vehicles for the ninth year in a row, with sales topping $10.1 billion. 2022 export sales total for completed passenger motor vehicles increased 6 percent over the previous year.

The state’s export sales total last year totaled $31.5 billion, according to information released by the governor’s office, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Ports Authority.

“The world wants what South Carolinians are making, as evidenced by South Carolina’s boost in 2022 trade numbers,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “From tires to passenger vehicles, our industries are making their mark on the world stage as international markets continue to realize the value and craftsmanship of South Carolina-made goods.”

“South Carolina is as connected to the world as ever, between the year-over-year growth of foreign direct investment and international trade and exports,” Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III said. “International trade is crucial to our state’s economy and sustained economic growth, particularly as our companies expand their product and service offerings to meet global market demands.”

South Carolina exports reached 196 countries across six continents. Canada was the number one export market for South Carolina-made products and services, accounting for $4.4 billion in sales.

SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said the state serves as a “gateway to the world” with the eighth-largest U.S. container port.

“We are proud to move cargo for mega retailers, advanced manufacturers, farmers, medical companies, e-commerce sites and small businesses,” she said. “We consistently invest in world-class port infrastructure to keep freight moving, ensuring SC Ports offers the capacity, reliability and fluidity port-dependent businesses need to thrive.”