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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.

Jan 08 2014
Written by Michael Wayland | Posted on MLive

The Auburn Hills-based automaker Tuesday announced the 2014 Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop package will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show next week.

Blacktop packages are already offered on Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan models. The packages includes Gloss Black wheels, select exterior paint colors, Gloss Black painted split-crosshair grille with Gloss Black matching grille surround, darkened headlamp bezels, as well as some unique Blacktop interior touches.

Jan 07 2014
Written by Larry P. Vellequette | Posted on Automotive News

Chrysler Group's Jeep brand set a global sales record in 2013 with sales of 731,565 vehicles, up 4 percent from the previous year's record despite not having the Jeep Cherokee available for sale until late October.

Three nameplates -- the Wrangler, Compass and Patriot -- set global and U.S. sales records in 2013, the company said. The Grand Cherokee was the brand's top-selling model globally at 255,005 units, followed by the Wrangler at 210,715.

Jan 07 2014
Written by Andrew Kidd | Posted on The News-Herald

In the wake of its full acquisition by Italian car maker Fiat, automotive manufacturer Chrysler has posted its strongest annual sales since 2007 and the highest December sales increase in six years.

The company saw a 9 percent increase in full-year sales for 2013 compared to 2012, making it the fourth consecutive year of annual growth, while its December sales of 161,007 new cars and trucks saw an increase of 6 percent compared with the previous year’s 152,367.

Jan 06 2014
Written by Craig Trudell | Posted on Journal Gazette

There are beer cans, and then there are Humvees. Ford will take pains to show its new, aluminum F-150 pickup has more in common with combat vehicles.

Jan 03 2014

Americans headed for local car dealers en masse last month, taking advantage of year-end closeouts, sweet leases and inexpensive financing to boost the industry log its strongest sales year since 2007.

Most major automakers, who report sales on Friday, were expected to report gains for the year. But there were signs in December that 2014 could bring more price competition and better deals for consumers as U.S. auto sales growth starts to slow.