Like most other regions of the country, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee benefited from steady residential construction but were saddled with troublesome unemployment rates and high office vacancy rates in metropolitan areas.

But the construction or expansion of auto plants in the region bode well for the future. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Nissan plans to make an additional $500 million investment in a $930 million assembly plant that's already under construction in Madison County, Mississippi. The plant will employ 5,300 people when finished.

Alabama already has auto plants that have created jobs for 27,000 direct employees and an estimated 48,000 indirect jobs. In addition, the state recently got the good news that Honda will double production capacity for its Odyssey minivans and add 2,000 jobs to its plant in Lincoln, Ala.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final 1998 Final 1999 Final 2000 Final 2001 Forecast 2002 Forecast 2003
East South Central 3,376.2 3,691.4 3,730.0 3,386.6 3,487.6 3,641.9
Alabama 795.2 838.5 847.2 769.2 792.2 827.2
Kentucky 905.4 1,019.8 1,030.5 935.6 963.5 1,006.1
Mississippi 315.2 353.8 357.5 324.6 334.3 349.0
Tennessee 1,360.4 1,479.4 1,494.9 1,357.2 1,397.7 1,459.6
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual EC in thousands
M F/S/RT G
East South Central 43,153 1,304.5 3,766.0 1,296.1
Alabama 10,289 329.2 920.0 347.9
Birmingham MSA 3,216 47.8 273.7 69.5
Huntsville MSA 852 33.1 92.0 40.7
Mobile MSA 1,412 25.4 129.7 34.6
Montgomery MSA 951 16.9 86.8 36.7
Tuscaloosa MSA 411 12.4 33.5 20.7
Kentucky 11,529 300.2 921.4 312.6
Lexington MSA 2,759 45.0 145.7 56.6
Louisville MSA 3,629 82.8 317.9 72.8
Owensboro MSA 203 6.4 22.8 7.7
Mississippi 5,042 208.7 523.2 240.4
Jackson MSA 1,700 19.0 120.0 49.6
Tennessee 16,201 466.4 1,401.4 395.2
Chattanooga MSA 1,974 41.1 119.9 32.0
Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol MSA 1,534 42.4 95.3 28.3
Knoxville MSA 1,886 45.7 195.8 55.9
Memphis MSA 4,125 55.5 315.3 81.5
Nashville MSA 6,007 90.6 398.6 84.3

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THIS DATA?

For step-by-step instructions on crunching the numbers to come up with a sensible business plan, see page 19.

Learn how to take the sales estimates and employment numbers for the region and metropolitan areas that your distributorship serves and tailor them to help you forecast your company's own sales potential.

You can:

  • Determine your company's sales potential for various customer groups.
  • Find new customer markets.
  • Compare markets for potential expansion.
  • Determine if your sales are at the optimum level.
  • Gauge business prospects and conditions in end-user markets.