Alabama’s Largest Manufacturers

January 19, 2015 / Automotive Advertising, Featured /
Alabama Manufacturers - Strong Automotive


I decided to blog on a local topic that still puzzles me as a resident in Birmingham, Alabama. While reading the Birmingham Business Journal over the weekend I saw this list of the largest manufacturers in the Birmingham area.

With all the steel, coal, pipe and food/beverage companies it was surprising to see our two local automakers Honda and Mercedes in the top two positions. The reason for the surprise is I hear so little about these two companies and their manufacturing efforts in the local news. The fact that they account for 7,500 local employees should be something that is talked about far more often in Birmingham, but for whatever reason it is not.

Up until last year with Mercedes, there was little to no dealer advertising presence about the plant being located here and the quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail they brought to building vehicles. With Honda, you see very little manufacturer presence in any tier of advertising for the fact of how many of their vans and SUVs are built here locally.

I’m not living in a dream world where I think everyone would wake up and magically buy a car from one of these two brands because they are built right here. It’s just a little surprising that this state and community has not gotten behind these brands a bit more.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.