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.
Ford (F) says its "super segment" that includes four different classifications of vehicles ranging from sub-compact vehicles to midsize sedans and crossovers climbed 18% in the first quarter, with surprising growth on the coasts of California and Florida.
General Motors plans to invest $332 million into four factories in three Great Lakes states to build new, more efficient engines and transmissions.
Almost a year to the day after SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles first introduced – and kissed the fender of – the 2013 SRT Viper at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the high-performance coupe has begun shipping to dealers.