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




  • Jul 02 2015

    The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Grows Up, Gets More Sophisticated

    Written by Matthew de Paula | Posted on Forbes

    The Chevrolet Cruze is maturing for 2016. An all-new version set to go on sale early next year is larger, lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated—basically, it’s more of everything.

    For decades cars have grown in size with each new generation, adding unwanted weight in the process. The first part is still true—cars keep getting bigger—but not the second part. Even as cars continue to grow in size—the new Cruze is 2.7 inches longer than its predecessor—they are also getting lighter, thanks to advancements in metallurgy and lightweight composites.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Jul 02 2015

    Ford U.S. Sales Up on Strong Customer Demand for Newest Products

    | Posted on Ford Media

    Strong consumer demand for its newest products pushed Ford Motor Company total U.S. June sales 2 percent higher, to 225,647 vehicles sold.

  • Jul 02 2015

    FCA Up 8.2% on Strong Jeep and Chrysler 200 Sales

    Written by Larry P. Vellequette | Posted on Automotive News

    The Jeep brand and the Chrysler 200 both helped push Fiat Chrysler’s June sales up 8.2 percent, the automaker’s best sales for the month of June since 2006.
    FCA US said it had 185,035 sales in June, its 63rd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Three of its five brands -- Chrysler, Jeep and Ram -- posted sales gains for the month, while sales of Dodge and Fiat brands fell sharply.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Jul 01 2015

    Ford's Mustang Pulls Ahead in Sales Race

    Written by Michael Martinez | Posted on The Detroit News

    Ford Motor Co.'s Mustang is flexing its power in the race for best-selling muscle car.

    Sales of the Dearborn automaker's pony car are up 55 percent in the United States through the first five months of the year, and it's outselling its biggest rival — the Chevrolet Camaro — for the first time since 2009.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Jul 01 2015

    Jeep Takes Rugged Path for Renegade SUV

    Written by Chris Woodyard | Posted on USA Today

    Trying to find success in what's quickly becoming a crowded field, Jeep has taken a tortuous path — literally.

    While a raft of similar new city-size crossovers will be competing to break through this year, Jeep executives believe their new Renegade will stand out as the one in the bunch with true off-road capability.

    In fact, only the top-level Trailhawk trim level is "trail rated" — Jeep's code words for its models truly able to take on the worst, rocky, rutted terrain. But officials are counting on the aura of that model's ruggedness to extend to all Renegades.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy