NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In recent decades, the Middle Tennessee region became established as a hub for relocating, expanding and starting companies, with many international giants beginning to call Nashville home.

All it takes is one: To believe, achieve and in Nashville’s case, to start a movement.

“Nissan was the pioneer,” said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

In 1980, Nissan North America chose Middle Tennessee for its first North American automotive assembly facility, the largest facility ever built by a foreign manufacturer in the U.S at that time.

“That’s the highest compliment anyone could give us,” said Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville.

As it turned out, the compliments kept growing. In 2005, Nissan announced it was moving its North American headquarters and 1,3000 jobs from California to Tennessee.

“Nissan was really the watershed company. They really were the flag in the ground for Cool Springs and they put us on the map making the decision to come here for other companies to see can it work but it does,” Jeff Checko, said, a Realtor with the Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage.

In the early 90’s, Nashville would land another big believer — Bridgestone Americas.

“Bridgestone moved downtown, they were being wooed by major cities to come and build their corporate headquarters…and they chose Nashville,” recalled Dean.

And more would follow.

Since 1990, more than 930 new companies have decided to choose Middle Tennessee. Some of the major players include: Dell, Asurion, banking-giant UBS, Hanhook tire and HCA Healthcare.

“I think around the early 90s, a couple years later you had HCA merging with Colombia, they kept the headquarters here and now this much larger healthcare company was starting to attract talent from all over the United States,” said John Scannapieco, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson.

The trend would continue, with companies flocking here for Nashville’s talent pool, innovation, affordability and quality of life.

By 2015, nearly 30% of all new jobs in the region resulted from foreign companies moving to Middle Tennessee, according to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“International companies investing in Nashville were the launch to this long term success,” Spyridon said.

As Nashville continues to thrive, this evolultion of outside influence becomes more apparent.

Many believe it started in the 80s and it’s apparently never stopped.


Nashville’s explosive growth and rising real estate prices are due in part to outside influence. News 2 shows you how investors from around the world are shaping the area with our special reports Outside Influence.