Manufacturing Economy


The auto industry is America’s largest exporter. Over the past six years, automakers and suppliers have exported over $775 billion worth of vehicles and parts. They beat the next best performing sector (aerospace) by $125 billion. Last year alone, automakers and suppliers out-exported the aerospace industry by $6 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 more than 17 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 734,000 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, seven out of the world’s top 25 corporate investors in research and development are automakers. FCA US, Ford and General Motors each invest more each year on research and development than HP, Boeing, and AT&T – 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 auto supplier.

Market Share vs. Jobs Share vs. Parts Share




  • Feb 16 2016

    Ford Plans to Add Four SUVs Globally in Next Four Years

    Written by Rick Popely | Posted on Chicago Tribune

    Ford Motor Co. will add four new SUVs to its global lineup by 2020 to serve what it sees as a dramatic and ongoing shift away from passenger cars.

    Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of sales and marketing, announced the plans Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show. LaNeve said SUV sales have nearly doubled in the U.S. since 2010, and the growth is driven by consumer preference, not by low gas prices.

  • Feb 16 2016

    Ram Gives The Power Wagon A New Look For 2017

    Written by Justin Cupler | Posted on InsideCarNews

    If you grew up in my era, you are quite aware of the Power Wagon from Dodge. Well, the Dodge Ram may be dead, but the Power Wagon is still very much a part of the Ram brand, and it continues into 2017 with a refreshed look paired with the off-road capabilities we expect.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Feb 16 2016

    Why The 2017 Cadillac XT5 SUV Is Huge For General Motors

    Written by John Rosevear | Posted on The Motley Fool

    Luxury crossovers are white-hot. Cadillac's XT5 is the first of several all-new Cadillac crossovers that will seek to boost GM's share of this highly profitable market.

    What's happening: General Motors said this week that its new 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover SUV will have a starting price of $38,995 when it goes on sale in the U.S. in April.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Feb 09 2016

    Jeep's Rich Heritage Celebrated In Super Bowl Ad

    Written by Brent Snavely | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    Jeep celebrated its rich heritage in a 60-second commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl in an ad called "Portraits," as the iconic SUV brand celebrates its 75th anniversary.

    With the tagline “We don’t make Jeep, you do," the ad includes more than 60 carefully selected images from around the world, including famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Jeff Goldblum, BB King and Aretha Franklin, along with photos of historic Jeep models.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Feb 09 2016

    10 Great Chevrolet Racing Engines

    Written by Tom Read | Posted on General Motors

    As development of Chevrolet’s racing engine programs consolidate under the roof of the all-new Powertrain Performance and Racing Center, in Pontiac, Mich., it’s worth looking back at 10 engines that helped establish and sustain its winning legacy.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy