This month, T&BB spoke to Richard and Kara Demirjian of TCCI – a manufacturer of commercial vehicle compressors based in Decatur, Illinois – about its EV Innovation Hub: a veritable “triple threat” with an EV components production line, a climatic testing centre, and a training academy rolled into one facility, which it is developing as part of a public-private partnership with the state and local schools.
USA – In the latter part of the twentieth century and the early part of the twenty-first, the USA was not a good place to open a new factory. Rising costs at home and competition from abroad decimated American industry, and those manufacturers who managed to survive through multiple economic downturns decided to invest elsewhere, where labour and other expenses were cheaper. Nowhere was hit harder, perhaps, than the “Rust Belt”, an unflattering name for the northeast and midwestern states which straddle the Great Lakes. The region has acquired the name because it is dotted with the skeletal remains of factories which were once the motors of the American industrial machine but which have now fallen into disuse and decay.