Automotive Sector

The automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation and the role of a range of new technologies are reshaping the industry.   The industry is being reshaped by new technologies in the areas of propulsion systems, autonomy, safety and infotainment and legacy OEMs, established tech suppliers and new-to-the-industry players are defining new product niches. Along with this evolution, what has been the world’s most complex global supply chain is evolving quickly with new supply chain points. China is now a global powerhouse as the largest auto market, and it is evolving into a critical global supply chain player.


The Western US is well-positioned to become an important global hub for the next-generation of the automotive sector. California is an important strategic player in next-generation automotive technology; including software and systems development, sensor technology, optical technology/camera, autobraking, and autonomy.


  • Every legacy manufacturer and most established and new technology entrant supplier has set-up a research and partnership presence in Silicon Valley
  • Silicon Valley is now one of the key global automotive technology centers


Merced County is well-positioned to support the industry, being one hour from heart of Silicon Valley, Merced can provide test, development and production facilities that support nearby research operations. Located in-between Los Angeles and Bay Area production and research hubs, the County location also provides easy access to emerging Nevada and Arizona production centers. Merced County’s proposition to the industry includes:


  • Very easy road and rail access to points north and south, and onward into the US market
  • Cost structure is far lower than the California major metropolitan areas and is competitive to most other areas
  • In terms of access to the global logistics system, the County is located an easy few hours to load center cargo and business travel airports (SFO, OAK, SJC, LAX) and major cargo seaports (Port of Oakland, Long Beach and Los Angeles)
  • Merced County is at the heart of a huge and rich labor market – with a strong, cost effective and diverse human resource offer
  • Merced County is an extremely business-friendly place, that has established a system that offers an easy system for development and permitting


Merced County is host to the California AutoTech Testing, Development and Production Campus. This state of the art facility is a purpose-built testing and development facility that is designed to support leading global companies in their work to develop, perfect and produce tech products.


  • Easy commute from heart of Silicon Valley research labs
  • Google’s autonomous vehicle testing complex is onsite now
  • USC, USC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon are research institution partners


This site was California’s proposal for the TESLA gigafactory project.