#50 California

1.48 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

6.25 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

6.17 out of 10 in Living Environment

A Return of Auto Manufacturing

The state’s automotive manufacturing sector has grown by 22% since 2011, driven by direct access to the Pacific Rim and one of the country’s top talent pools. The market started to truly turn around when Tesla established its headquarters that year and made Palo Alto the base of its manufacturing operations. Since then, legacy car companies such as Ford, Honda, Mazda and GM have returned and made large investments in their new technology divisions. Chinese company BYD, which opened a factory in Lancaster in 2013 to construct electric buses, is working on a second-phase expansion that will add thousands of additional square feet and more jobs.

From the Governor

“During the last seven years, California has reduced the unemployment rate from 12.1% to 5.2% and created almost 2.5 million jobs.” —Gov. Jerry Brown

Key Industries

Offers incentives to all sectors except retail.

Key Companies

Wells Fargo

Key Contacts

California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Panorea Avdis, Director
(916) 322-0694
1400 10th Street, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
[email protected]

Key Incentives

California Competes Tax Credit: Flexible tax credit negotiated by GO-Biz for companies that meet certain job creation and investment amounts.

California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) Sales and Use Tax Exclusion (STE): Offers a full sales tax and use exclusion for manufacturers of alternative sources and advanced transportation products or those using recycled feedstock.

Manufacturing and R&D Equipment Exemption: Offers partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and R&D equipment purchases and leases.


California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: business.ca.gov

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.: laedc.org

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.: sandiegobusiness.org

San Francisco Center for Economic Development: sfced.org

Greater Sacramento Economic Council:selectsacramento.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The California Made program is designed to encourage consumer product awareness and to promote the purchase of products made in the state.

Big Deals

  • Germany-based Dräxlmaier Group announced in October 2016 it will invest $24 million to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Livermore.
  • China Sunergy announced in February 2017 it will create 200 new jobs and construct a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Sacramento County.
  • GM announced in April 2017 it will invest $14 million and create 1,100 new jobs at a new R&D development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco.
  • Google announced in June 2017 a plan to build an eight-million-square-foot campus in downtown San Jose and create up to 20,000 jobs.
  • Facebook announced in July 2017 it will construct a mixed-use development with 1,500 housing units at its Menlo Park headquarters.

Big Companies

53 Fortune 500 companies headquartered
in state, including:
Wells Fargo
Cisco Systems
Gilead Sciences

C-Suite Testimonials

“We are excited to significantly expand our footprint in California and continue our rapid growth trajectory….Accessing the world-class talent pool that the San Francisco Bay Area offers is one of the many reasons we plan to grow our presence in the state.” —Kyle Vogt, CEO, Cruise Automation

“Our plant in Livermore will play a key role in supporting our customers in California. We are delighted about the opportunity to grow with our customers, as well as to expend our presence in the Americas.” —Barbara Bermeier, Board Member and Head of Operations, Dräxlmaier Group

“During the last seven years, California has reduced the unemployment rate from 12.1% to 5.2% and created almost 2.5 million jobs.” —Gov. Jerry Brown

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