Site Selection Trends Survey Results

Site Selection Trends Survey Results

June 30, 2015


Elite Site Selectors Group Representing More than $34 Billion in Capital Expenditures Per Year
Releases Site Selection Trends Survey Results

CHICAGO (June 30, 2015)— The Site Selectors Guild (SSG) today released the full findings of its recently conducted 2015 State of Site Selection Trends survey. SSG is the world’s largest association of business location experts whose combined membership leads corporate location projects valued at more than $30 billion in annual capital expenditures and thousands of new jobs globally each year.

“We estimate that approximately 25 percent of our corporate clients rely on professionals like us, as location advisors, to make the final call on their location choices. This represents millions or even billions of dollars of investment in a location,” said Phil Schneider, chairman of the SSG board. “Our annual SSG State of Site Selection Trends Survey identifies pressing issues and trends in today’s global economy. Corporate leaders responsible for their company’s location investment decisions will benefit from the survey insights and the economic development community will gain insights into what corporations need and want in a location.”

The State of Site Selection Trends Survey economic development trends and insights identified include:

  • The SSG membership is overwhelmingly bullish about the number of new location selection projects they expect to occur over the next three years.
    • The members are particularly bullish about the US, with 80% of the site selectors surveyed expecting an increased number of all types of site selection projects in the US over three years and more than 90% expecting an increase specifically in US manufacturing projects.
    • In contrast, more than 40% anticipate that there will be either no change or a decrease in the number of distribution center and office-related site selection projects outside of the US, and more than 25% expect a decrease in the number of manufacturing projects locating outside of the US.
    • Within US manufacturing, site selectors project that the automotive, petro chemical, and food/beverage sectors will create the most new location projects within the US.
    • The factors that are expected to most drive location project growth in the US are access to the US market, availability of skills/talent, relatively low energy costs, and lower total overall operating costs.
    • A significant increase is expected in the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects locating into the US over the next three years, with companies from Germany, China, and Japan leading the way for new US FDI location projects. The petro/chemical, automotive, and plastics industries are expected to be the leading sectors for manufacturing FDI into the US.
    • Outside of the US, surveyed site selection consultants expect that Mexico will receive the most FDI location projects, followed by China, Brazil, and India, and like the US, projects will be primarily driven by access to those markets, and also by labor costs, overall total costs, and access to skills/talent.
  • The site selectors say that the ability to develop skills locally is the most important indicator of the ability to provide and sustain sufficient access to talent/skills, specifically citing the quality of the local technical colleges (community or vo-tech) along with the presence of other companies in the local market that employ similar skill sets. The ability to attract and retain talent from outside of the local market, including the living conditions that aid in the attraction/retention of talent, are also considered to be very important.
  • The incentives that are most attractive to new location projects according to site selectors are cash grants, property tax abatements, infrastructure improvements, and training programs.

Other emerging issues and factors that are or will be affecting new location projects, according to additional survey input from the site selection consultants, include:

  • Rising costs in China will continue to push investment to third tier markets in Asia and/or reshoring of projects to Mexico or back to the US
  • Technology continues to change at an ever-increasing pace; those areas that can develop and sustain evolving technical skill sets are poised for sustained growth; those that cannot will decline. Haves and have-nots will be determined by the ability to demonstrate abundant, quality, and sustainable skilled/technical workers.
  • Success will gravitate to those communities that support advanced training and offer lifestyles that attract and retain skilled and creative workers. There will be an overall focus on improving the quality of life to attract and retain talent, including vibrant downtowns attractive to young/millennial talent and accessible suburbs with good schools and housing for middle-age talent.
  • Water availability and cost will continue to increase as a critical factor – water scarcity around the world will drive water sensitive projects to those areas that can demonstrate sustainable fresh water availability, long term. Likewise with energy availability and cost sustainability.
  • Energy costs will continue to have a major impact on location projects in the US. Low oil prices may slow shale exploration which means petrochemical, chemicals, and plastics will not grow as quickly as they have; however, longer-term low energy costs will be a North American location strength for the foreseeable future.
  • Transportation costs and shipping times from foreign manufacturing sites to the US are a key driver for continued US project growth.

To read the full report and view info-graphs, please visit : LINK TO REPORT

Fall Forum, 2016 Annual Conference
The Fall Forum will take place in Philadelphia October 26-28, 2015. Guild member Jay Garner, President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC, is the Fall Forum chair. The 2016 Annual Conference will take place February 24-26, 2016 in Nashville. Registration for the event will open September 22, 2015. Guild member William Hearn, Senior Vice President, CBRE Atlanta’s Location Consulting Group, is the 2016 conference chair.

About The Site Selectors Guild

The Site Selectors Guild is a professional association comprised of the world’s most respected site selection consultants. The mission of The Site Selectors Guild is to advance the profession of international corporate site selection by promoting the profession and providing education, networking and other services to those involved in the industry.

All members of The Site Selectors Guild have been nominated and approved by their industry peers. As the first and only group of its kind, the Site Selectors Guild brings together a dynamic network of site selectors from around the world, combining their talent and expertise to create an invaluable resource, unmatched in its quality, for both corporations seeking site selection assistance and economic development organizations.

For more information see