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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.

May 09 2014
Written by Michael Wayland | Posted on M Live


Ford Motor Co. plans to buy back up to approximately 116 million shares of company stock worth about $1.8 billion.

The Dearborn-based automaker on Wednesday said its board of directors approved the repurchase ahead of Ford’s annual meeting Thursday in Delaware. The plan, according to officials, is expected to “help offset share dilution and help improve shareholder returns."

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
May 02 2014
GM News

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – General Motors is investing $50 million for a new flexible Trim Shop and upgrades to the Press Room at the Lordstown Complex for the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

“This investment will enhance our customer responsiveness while providing our team with the tools and processes needed to be the best at building the next generation Cruze,” said Lordstown Plant Manager Bob Parcell.

Some construction work has begun at the complex. Chevrolet will announce timing of the next generation Cruze later.

May 01 2014
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News


General Motors Co. said Wednesday it has started construction on a new facility for race engine design and development at its Global Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac, as the automaker works to bring together its North American powertrain engineering group for production as well as advanced and racing engines.

The automaker said the construction project also includes adding an electric motor lab to build prototype electric motors, and a gear center that supports designing and testing of gears in next-generation transmissions.

May 01 2014
Written by Mark Clothier | Posted on Bloomberg News

David Kelleher, a car dealer in suburban Philadelphia, said he’s in uncharted emotional territory: He’s excited about a new Chrysler sedan.

“This car won’t disappoint people -- there’s zero chance,” Kelleher said about the redesigned Chrysler 200, which will arrive on lots in May to succeed the existing 200 and the Sebring, which he said were good values but struggled to compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

“I have never, ever sold a high-quality, desirable car in that segment,” he said. “But this is a really nice car.”

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Apr 29 2014
Ford News
  • The Ford Fleet Purchase Planner™ is a new tool that helps businesses build a fleet of vehicles with an eye toward cost and environmental concerns
  • KONE, a leader in escalator and elevator manufacturing, used the Ford Fleet Purchase Planner to develop a plan to replace its fleet of 160 Ford Fusion cars with new Fusion Hybrid vehicles by 2018; the move is expected to reduce KONE’s carbon emissions output by 850 metric tons annually

For its commitment to analytics and big data collection, Ford was among three finalists for the Institute for Operations Research and Manag