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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.

Jan 24 2014
GM News

DETROIT – More than a third of GM’s 4,300 U.S. dealers are now offering or enrolling in “Shop-Click-Drive,” the online shopping tool that enables Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers to combine the convenience of the Internet with personal customer service.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Jan 24 2014
Written by Karl Henkel | Posted on The Detroit News

For all the talk in the past week about aluminum and making vehicles lighter to boost fuel efficiency, Lincoln’s modestly upgraded Navigator goes against everything we’ve heard and seen from Ford Motor Co. — at least for now.

The update sports changes to the interior, exterior and powertrain, but no major changes to the materials that form the body of the 17-year-old nameplate. The upgrade will allow Lincoln to keep pace in the full-size luxury SUV segment until the Navigator’s next overhaul in 2016.

Jan 22 2014
Ford Media

Ford Motor Company’s stand at the 2014 North American International Auto Show includes a 37.5-ton display that simulates a moving assembly line, as well as a chance to see the all-new Mustang next to the original pony car.

Ford is offering its freshest vehicle lineup, latest technologies, newest innovations and the coolest interactive exhibits at this year’s auto show in Detroit. A new upper-level exhibit area will feature the all-new Mustang positioned near the Concept II created by the 1962 Mustang design team.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Jan 22 2014
Fox News

And you thought your truck was ready for winter.

Ken Block has unveiled his new Ford F-150 RaptorTRAX, a modified SVT Raptor SuperCab billed as the world’s fastest snowcat and ultimate backcountry snowboard machine.

A joint effort between Block’s Ford Racing team buddies and California’s Special Vehicle Concepts, the pickup features a Whipple supercharged 6.2-liter V8 (typically good for at least 650 hp) and a set of Mattracks rubber tracks.

Jan 17 2014
New Haven Register Business

More vehicles than ever on display at the Detroit auto show are using non-traditional materials — aluminum, carbon fiber, magnesium — as US automakers fight to get vehicle weight down and gas mileage up.

Ford’s introduction of aluminum body panels for its workhorse F150 pickup truck was a radical shift which it said would knock up to 700 pounds (317 kilograms) from the truck’s weight.

But it presents a challenge to discerning buyers who are accustomed to the country’s premier pickup being built with solid steel, but also straining under high fuel costs.