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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.

Dec 19 2014
Travelers Today

2015 Mustang Convertible from Ford Motor Company has recently announced that the American multinational automaker will be presenting its newest vehicle for dealership this month. These ragtop luxury cars will be commanding a $5,500 premium over their fastback V-6 and V-8 counterparts.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 18 2014
Written by Aaron Birch | Posted on GM Authority

On the latest episode of Motor Week, “Television’s Original Automotive Magazine” reviewed the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 on the twists and bends of Michigan’s Gingerman Raceway.

“The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 has GM shooting for the stars,” says presenter John Davis. He cites the wealth of performance-minded improvements gained over the basic SS model: carbon ceramic Brembo brakes, interior weight savings measures, 12″ wide rubber front and back, active two-mode exhaust, and race-bred spool-valve dampers, to name a few.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 18 2014
Written by Mark Phelan | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Ford made a billion-dollar bet on the four-star 2015 F-150 full-size pickup, and it appears to have paid off. The F-150's switch from the steel body all previous pickups used to lighter aluminum reduces fuel consumption and increases hauling capacity. That gives Ford a couple of key advantages with truck buyers.

The aluminum body, and a new frame that uses high-strength steel to reduce weight further, reduce the 2015 F-150's weight as much as 700 pounds.

The F-150 also offers a number of features other pickups can't match.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 18 2014
Written by Scott Sturgis | Posted on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

2015 Chrysler 200C: Better bread and butter?

Price: $30,475 as tested ($25,995 base price; a 200 can be had for as little as $21,700).

Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the “strong V6 engine; composed ride and handling; high-quality interior materials; slick infotainment interface; available all-wheel drive” but not “less passenger room than other midsize sedans.”

Marketer’s pitch: “The expression of inspiration.”

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 17 2014
Written by Greg Gardner | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Autoweek magazine has named the GMC Canyon Best of the Best/Truck for 2015, citing the new midsize truck's design, utility, features and "perfect size."

"It's truly a truck in the most honest sense, but refuses to forego the requirements a modern buyer has in a vehicle: refinement, modern conveniences and amenities, high-quality build, practicality and style," said Autoweek's editors.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy