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Along the A34 there are many car dealerships such as Renault, Ford, Jaguar, BMW, Audi and Land Rover as well as a combined Ferrari and Maserati dealership.
A new Peugeot car dealership is currently being considered on the same stretch of road.
Shirley grew rapidly in the late 19th century and early 20th century, as people moved out of Birmingham, helped by the opening of the railway in 1908 as a Great Western route from Snow Hill railway station to Stratford upon Avon and on to Cheltenham.
For a hundred years from the mid-19th century, Shirley had a racecourse, and this was supplemented by a public lido in Sansome Road, the Odeon Cinema on Stratford Road and the public library in Church Road, all in the 1930s.
Shirley School which was in School Road until the 1970s was built in 1833.
The expansion of Shirley resumed after the Second World War and has continued apace in the recent time Shirley also had its own council and council house.
However, with the rise of Solihull, it became managed underneath the Solihull Council, becoming two district wards: Shirley and Shirley South; the council house has since been demolished.
Shirley has a high proportion of independent retailers and charity stores.
"Chinese Wilson", the notable plant collector and writer, was brought up in Shirley where his parents ran a floristry business.
There are also plans to develop a large industrial estate on Blackford Road side of Dog Kennel Lane, occupying the TRW site.