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Manufacturing Economy

From research labs to dealership lots, the auto sector supports nearly 8 million U.S. jobs.

Exports. The auto industry is America’s largest exporter. Over the past six years, automakers and suppliers have exported nearly $600 billion worth of vehicles and parts. They beat the next best performing sector (aerospace) by $74 billion. Last year alone, automakers and suppliers out-exported the aerospace industry by $20 billion.

Raw Materials and Parts. The U.S. auto industry is one of the largest consumers of domestic raw materials and parts. Last year, automakers sold nearly 13 million cars in the U.S., and each contained between 8,000 to 12,000 parts, using more than 3,000 pounds of iron, steel, rubber, glass and semiconductors. Approximately 686,000 Americans work at the plants, offices and research labs that produce those parts and materials.

American Research & Development. Designing those 8,000 to 12,000 auto parts and helping put them together makes autos among the most engineering-intensive industries in the world. In fact, eight out of the world’s top 25 corporate investors in research and development are automakers. GM and Ford each invest more each year on research and development than Boeing, Amgen and Google – and 80 cents of every dollar they invest in research and development is spent here in the U.S. Thanks largely to this investment, nearly one in 10 engineers and scientists in private sector R&D work for an automaker or supplier.

Oct 30 2014
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

General Motors Co. Wednesday announced it will invest $63 million in an expansion of its Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, part of a $300 million Michigan investment GM CEO Mary Barra previewed this week. While no new jobs are expected, the work is expected to retain 38 jobs.

The Detroit automaker said it will expand its 2.8 million-square-foot Lansing Delta Township plant by 263,000 square feet; construction has started and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. The plant currently builds the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave SUVs.

Oct 30 2014
Chrysler Media Group

Chrysler Group LLC’s Indiana Transmission Plant II (ITPII) has been awarded bronze status for its results in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM). The Kokomo, Ind., transmission plant becomes Chrysler Group’s first transmission plant and the sixth North American facility to achieve the WCM award milestone.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Oct 29 2014
Written by Evan J. Smith | Posted on Mustang 360

Over the past few years, the Ford Mustang has created quite a buzz at the SEMA Show, held every November in Las Vegas. This year is no different, as Ford Motor Company is set to rock the halls with a barrage of 2015 Mustangs. Ford has worked with top builders including Galpin Auto Sports, Petty’s Garage, MRT, Watson Racing and many others, to showcase over a dozen custom Mustangs in its 20,000-square-foot booth at Las Vegas Convention Center, Nov. 4-7, with even more new pony cars on display around the show floor.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Oct 28 2014
Written by Jeff Bennett | Posted on The Wall Street Journal

General Motors Co. —trying to stir some buzz around the next generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in—said Tuesday it will move production of the vehicle’s electric drive unit to its home state of Michigan from Mexico.

Oct 28 2014
Written by Simon Johnson | Posted on Project Syndicate

Looking for ways to stimulate economic growth and create jobs, US President Barack Obama’s administration is seeking to press ahead with the mega-regional free-trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But is the US going about it the right way?