From research labs and supplier factories to assembly lines and dealership showrooms, the auto industry supports nearly 8 million jobs, pays $500 billion in annual compensation and generates $70 billion in personal tax revenue in the United States.
And, as low-skill manufacturing has shifted overseas (for example, in textiles or some consumer electronics), the importance of high-skill manufacturing, like automobiles, has risen. With auto sales rebounding from the financial crisis of the 2008 – 2009, automakers’ importance to our economy will continue to grow. Industry experts predict Chrysler, Ford and GM could hire 34,000 new workers over the next four years. And those new jobs will support about 300,000 more new jobs at auto suppliers and other local businesses that serve Chrysler, Ford and GM plants.
Chrysler, Ford and GM are just three of 16 major global automakers competing in the U.S., but they employ two-thirds of America’s autoworkers, purchase nearly two-thirds of the auto parts manufactured here, produce 55 percent of the autos assembled here and conduct most of America’s auto research and development.
Why do Chrylser, Ford and GM contribute so much more to our economy? Because they conduct the bulk of their engineering, manufacturing, marketing and finance work here. Four out of 10 Chrysler, Ford and GM employees are based in the U.S. At Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, BMW, Mercedes and VW (the seven largest foreign automakers), only five in 100 employees are based here. That eight-fold difference translates into millions of U.S. jobs and tens of billions of dollars in parts sales, R&D and capital investment each year.
Fiat SpA (F) is adding 800 employees in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to support production of the redesigned Chrysler 200, reviving a factory that was almost shuttered following the U.S. automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy.
Fiat invested almost $1 billion in the plant, which will build the 2015 Chrysler 200, the Turin, Italy-based company said in a statement yesterday. The factory, which employs a total of 2,800 with the new hires, has added new paint and body shops, increasing its total size to about 2 million square feet.
Chrysler Group LLC plans to hire up to 1,000 part-time employees for Toledo's Jeep plant in order to keep production rolling while giving regular employees more time off.
“Our people have been working a tremendous amount of hours,” Plant Manager Chuck Padden said. “To get them more time off is important to us, to make sure they’re refreshed, and can work safely.”
To celebrate Shenetra Moses’ college graduation, her mother pulled childhood photos dating to kindergarten into a poster board collage. Amid the photos was an old, handwritten note, on which a 12-year-old Shenetra laid down her future career plans.
“She said, ‘Mom, I think I want to be an engineer,’ ” Sandra Potts recalled. “I said: ‘Do you even know what that is?’ ”
Outside the Dow Jones, Ford , to the delight of union workers, is bringing jobs back to America. Yesterday, the automaker debuted new versions of its F-650 and F-750 trucks which will go on sale in the second half of 2015. Ford is bringing some components back in-house which will reduce costs, simplify issues, and save a majority of the 1,600 UAW production workers at its Ohio plant.