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Industry Facts

The American automotive industry provides a unique and significant contribution to the U.S. economy. From job creation to domestic production to exportation and research and development, the American Auto Industry is a leader in multiple arenas, not only here at home, but across the globe.

  • The Center for Automotive Research’s most recent report estimates that original equipment manufacturers, suppliers and dealers collectively support nearly 8 million jobs, pay $500 billion in annual compensation and generate $70 billion in personal tax revenue.
  • The auto industry hires domestically.  In a recent Gallup Poll, Americans were asked what the best way would be to create more jobs in the U.S.  “Keeping jobs here” scored highest, by a substantial margin.
  • Ford, GM and Chrysler are just three of 16 major global automakers competing in the U.S., but they employ two-thirds of America’s autoworkers: This is because four out of 10 Chrysler, Ford and GM employees are based in the U.S.  At Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, BMW, Daimler and VW (the seven largest foreign automakers), only five in 100 employees are based here.
  • Last year, automakers and suppliers exported more than $125 billion worth of vehicles and parts.
  • The auto industry is the largest exporting sector.
  • Last year alone, Chrysler, Ford and GM, together, exported about one million vehicles produced in the U.S.
  • The cars bought each year in the U.S. each contain between 8,000 to 12,000 parts, using more than 3,000 pounds of iron, steel, rubber, glass and semiconductors.
  • Automakers and suppliers purchase 70 percent of rubber and approximately 20 percent of the iron, zinc, aluminum and stainless steel produced in the U.S.
  • While most automakers use some U.S. parts, Chrysler, Ford and GM’s vehicles contain nearly twice as much domestic content, on average, as the average foreign automaker vehicle.
  • One and half times more of the Chrysler, Ford and GM vehicles bought in the U.S. are assembled here. (81 out of 100 vehicles Chrysler, Ford and GM sell in the U.S. are manufactured here. Only 55 out of 100 cars sold by foreign automakers are made here.)
  • More U.S. production means more U.S. plants. For example, Chrysler, the smallest of the domestic automakers, operates as many assembly plants as BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Kia, VW and Mazda combined.
  • More U.S. production means more U.S. jobs. Four in 10 employees at Chrysler, Ford and GM are based in the U.S., while only five in 100 employees at their largest competitors are based here.
  • Eight of the world’s top 25 corporate investors in R&D are automakers, and the industry ranks third overall, ahead of software, aerospace and electronics manufacturers.
  • In the U.S., nearly one in 10 engineers and scientists employed in the private sector work for automakers or auto suppliers.
  • Ford and GM outspent global leaders like GE, Oracle, Google, HP, Apple and Boeing. And 80 cents of every dollar Chrysler, Ford and GM invest in R&D is spent in the United States.
  • Those billions in R&D, and hundreds of billions in new plants and equipment, have translated into unprecedented improvements in passenger safety, air quality, fuel efficiency and new products and features.
  • America’s drivers and passengers enjoyed the safest roads on record last year. Vehicle fatalities were the lowest on record, 25 percent lower than they were five years ago, even though Americans collectively drove nearly 3 trillion miles last year.
  • Auto emissions are 99 percent cleaner than they were in the 1970s.
  • 150+ new hybrid, all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are currently on the road. Chrysler, Ford and GM alone are putting millions of flex fuel vehicles on the road each year.
  • 2016 model year vehicles will offer 30 percent better fuel efficiency than last year’s fleet. Fleet fuel efficiency averages will reach 35.5 MPG.
  • Despite the fact that cars and trucks account for only 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, automakers are the only sector committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of new products by 30 percent in just five years.