South Carolina leads the nation as top exporter of tires and completed passenger motor vehicles

February 16, 2023

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Henry McMaster, the S.C. Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) and the South Carolina Ports Authority (SC Ports) today announced that the state's 2022 export sales totaled $31.5 billion, up 6% over 2021, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The state remains the nation’s top exporter of completed passenger motor vehicles and tires.

Notable 2022 export statistics include: (source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

  • 2022 export sales totaled $31.5 billion, up 6% over 2021.
  • For the ninth year in a row, South Carolina remains the national leader in the export of completed passenger vehicles, with sales topping $10.1 billion.
  • For the seventh year in a row, South Carolina remains the national leader in the export of tires, with sales exceeding $1.7 billion.
  • Canada was the number one export market for South Carolina-made products and services, accounting for over $4.4 billion in sales.
  • South Carolina exports reached 196 countries across six continents.

"The world wants what South Carolinians are making, as evidenced by South Carolina’s boost in 2022 trade numbers,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “From tires to passenger vehicles, our industries are making their mark on the world stage as international markets continue to realize the value and craftsmanship of South Carolina-made goods.”

“South Carolina is as connected to the world as ever, between the year-over-year growth of foreign direct investment and international trade and exports,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “International trade is crucial to our state’s economy and sustained economic growth, particularly as our companies expand their product and service offerings to meet global market demands.”

“As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports serves as South Carolina’s gateway to the world,” said SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin. “We are proud to move cargo for mega retailers, advanced manufacturers, farmers, medical companies, e-commerce sites and small businesses. We consistently invest in world-class port infrastructure to keep freight moving, ensuring SC Ports offers the capacity, reliability and fluidity port-dependent businesses need to thrive.”

South Carolina companies looking to expand their global markets can explore S.C. Commerce’s Export Incentives, or contact the international trade team.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State has consistently been among the top in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign direct investment on a per capita basis – recognized by multiple economic development publications for its pro-business climate. For more information, visit


Kelly Coakley

Director of Marketing and Communications

South Carolina Department of Commerce

(803) 737-1998