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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.

Oct 07 2013
In Auto News

Back then, in 1913, a winch and a rope moved Model Ts through the Highland Park Assembly Plant, where 140 factory workers performed specific tasks toward a completed car. With its advent, the assembly line created hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs, but made others obsolete. It has refined car and truck manufacturing, improved quality and safety of cars around the globe, and duplicated its efficiencies to other industries such as aircraft.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Oct 07 2013
Written by Michael Wayland | Posted on

A century ago, Ford Motor Co.'s Highland Park Plant was bustling with assembly workers producing Model T vehicles.

Now, the massive facility may sit idle, but its impact on the automotive industry continues to be felt. It was 100 years ago today that the Highland Park Plant began using the first moving assembly line, ushering in the dawn of the modern automotive industry.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Oct 07 2013
New York Daily News

A century ago, on October 7, 1913, engineers built a rudimentary system using a rope and wince to pull a new Ford Model T past 140 workers at a brand new factory dubbed the Crystal Palace.

Henry Ford launched the modern assembly line in a suburb of Detroit a century ago -- and helped spark a radical transformation of both manufacturing and society.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Oct 07 2013
Written by Karl Henkel | Posted on The Detroit News

Today’s moving automobile assembly lines are part human and part machine, capable of switching on the fly to different models of cars and trucks according to demand. Computer-controlled robots perform precise welds on chassis parts, while workers carry out tasks that machines alone cannot.