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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.

Feb 10 2014
Written by Mike Colias | Posted on Automotive News

General Motors CEO Mary Barra told analysts last week that GM is "riding a wave of new products" in North America as the company seeks to boost profitability and market share.

Charged with selling that fresh sheet metal are sales and marketing executive teams that are full of fresh faces after another round of executive turnover.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Feb 07 2014
Written by Mark Clothier | Posted on Bloomberg Businessweek

Ford Motor Co. (F:US) said it will oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the trade agreement doesn’t limit a country’s ability to manipulate its currency.

The proposed pact “is not likely to generate any net benefits for American manufacturers if it does not address the critical issue of currency manipulation,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a Feb. 6 speech at the Chicago Auto Show.

Feb 07 2014
Financial Times

America's car industry has plenty to thank President Barack Obama for, but it's still unhappy with a flagship trade deal that the White House is negotiating.

The carmakers want the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement with 11 Pacific nations, to include provisions to stem what they claim is the deliberate weakening of the yen by the Japanese government, something they argue hands an unfair advantage to Japan's car manufacturers, writes the FT's Aaron Stanley.

Feb 07 2014
Written by Chris Woodyard | Posted on USA Today

Chrysler Group's Ram truck division today is celebrating its 25-year association with Cummins, maker of heavy-duty diesels that once were best known for their use in semi-tractor rigs.

Few marriages could remain this strong on their silver anniversary. Ram says 85% of its heavy-duty pickups are ordered with Cummins diesel engines.

"Ram and Cummins are names synonymous with power, quality and durability. We've enjoyed a successful relationship and remained leaders in the diesel pickup market for 25 years," said Reid Bigland, CEO of Ram, in a statement.

Feb 06 2014
Written by Edward A. Sanchez | Posted on Truck Trend

Chrysler as a whole has had a healthy 2013, and a large part of the company's success can be directly attributed to its Ram truck brand. Sales of the Ram pickups have shown a double-digit year over year increase almost every month of the year in 2013, and demand is so strong for the trucks, that the prospect of a third truck plant is reportedly being considered, according to Automotive News.

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