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Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg September 20, 2013

Rick Perry says every engine maker is in Texas

At a time when everyone wishes the country were producing jobs faster than it has been, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is happy to talk about the track record in his state. "Thirty percent of all the jobs created in America were created in the state of Texas in the last ten years," Perry said on CNN’s Crossfire.

Perry listed some of the firms located in Texas.

"Companies like Facebook, eBay, Apple -- which is soon to be one of the largest employers in the city of Austin -- Caterpillar," Perry said. "Every engine manufacturer in the United States is now in the state of Texas."

That last part caught our ear. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the claim that every engine maker in the country now has an operation there seemed worth checking.

We called Perry’s office for the evidence behind that statement, and they said he was referring only to Caterpillar. In 2008, the heavy equipment manufacturer announced plans to consolidate the engine work it had been doing in Illinois and South Carolina to a facility in Seguin, Texas.

However, Perry's comments on Crossfire were about every engine maker in the country.

The Texas Department of Economic Development and Tourism produced a report on the automotive industry in the state. From that we counted three engine makers, Caterpillar, AER Manufacturing, and Toshiba. A fourth one, Hilite, makes engine components in Carrollton, Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau has a survey of County Business Patterns for 2011 that includes tallies of the number of corporations in various industry categories. There are three industry codes that apply to the manufacture of engines for gasoline, diesel and aircraft engines. These codes cover the manufacture of engine parts and engines as a whole, so using them is a bit imprecise.

Still, for firms with 20 or more employees, we found 386 nationwide. The figure for Texas is 17.

That strongly suggests that there are many more engine makers in the country than there are in Texas.

We also looked at firms that belong to the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association and looked at where some of the larger companies had operations.

Briggs and Stratton is a top engine maker with plants in Wisconsin, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. But none in Texas. The story for John Deere is similar. John Deere makes its engines in Waterloo, Iowa. As far as Texas goes, it has a parts distribution center in Dallas.

We did find that General Motors has a large presence in Arlington, Texas, although that is an assembly plant where parts made someplace else are put together. General Motors builds its engines in many states including Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. But not Texas.

The jet engine company Pratt and Whitney has several facilities in Texas thanks to its work with military aircraft and the Air Force base in San Antonio, but those plants focus on maintenance and repair, not manufacturing. For engine assembly, Pratt and Whitney has plants in West Virginia and several locations in Canada.

Our ruling

Perry said every engine manufacturer is now in the state of Texas. Using a broad definition from the Census Bureau, we counted 17 firms in Texas that are involved with building engines.

However, in that broad line of work , the total number of firms nationwide is well over 350. A sampling of some of the larger engine makers in the United States revealed some notable absences from Texas.

We rate the statement False.

Our Sources

CNN, Crossfire, Sept. 18, 2013

Texas Office of the Governor, Caterpillar Moving Primary Manufacturing Facility To Texas, Dec. 18, 2008

Seguin Gazette, Caterpillar to take over Seguin plant, Aug. 8, 2012

Texas Governor’s Office, Economic Development and Tourism,  Texas Automotive Industry

U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns 2011, May 16, 2013

Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, Membership

Briggs and Stratton, Corporate and plant locations

Cummins, Worldwide manufacturing locations

Hino Trucks, Made in West Virginia

John Deere, Worldwide locations

General Motors, Plants and Manufacturing operations guide

Navistar, Navistar facilities

Pratt and Whitney, Where we are

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Jon Greenberg

Rick Perry says every engine maker is in Texas

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