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Sorting out the truth in politics

PolitiFact: Texas has some engine manufacturers, but not nearly all in U.S.

The statement

"Every engine manufacturer in the United States is now in the state of Texas."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sept. 18 on CNN's Crossfire

The ruling

We called Perry's office 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 claim was about every enginemaker 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 enginemakers, 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 enginemakers 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 & Stratton is a top enginemaker 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 & 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 & Whitney has plants in West Virginia and several locations in Canada.

Perry said every engine manufacturer is now in the state of Texas. A sampling of some of the larger enginemakers in the United States revealed some notable absences from Texas.

We rate the statement False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at

PolitiFact: Texas has some engine manufacturers, but not nearly all in U.S. 09/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 5:17pm]
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