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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.

Nov 25 2013
Written by Jeffrey N. Ross | Posted on Autoblog

Ford has gone all-in on its efforts to offer most of its new vehicles with a fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine, but the automaker is reportedly preparing to take another big step toward improving vehicle efficiency. Automotive News is reporting that Ford will soon expand the availability of start-stop technology, which was first offered – presumably the first non-hybrid vehicle, that is – on the 2013 Fusion (equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine) as a $295 option.

Nov 25 2013

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex.  During his visit, Portman had the opportunity to meet with employees as he toured the assembly line and saw first-hand how the new Jeep Cherokee is manufactured.

Nov 22 2013
Written by Karl Henkel | Posted on The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday announced plans to invest $150 million at its Buffalo, N.Y., stamping plant, which will make parts for the automaker’s next-generation Edge crossover scheduled to hit dealer lots next year.

The investment will add 25 new sub-assembly stations to produce hoods, doors and fenders, and more than 500 new dies plus equipment upgrades.

Buffalo Stamping Plant produces parts such as quarter panels and floor pans for Ford vehicles like the Edge and Flex midsize crossovers, Focus compact car, F-250 and F-350 pickups and Lincoln MKX and MKT.

Nov 22 2013
Written by Mark Phelan | Posted on Detroit Free Press

The four-star 2014 Jeep Cherokee is probably the most technically sophisticated SUV ever built. That it remains true to Jeep’s go-anywhere heritage and scored EPA highway ratings up to 31 miles per gallon make the new Cherokee a tribute to Chrysler and Fiat’s joint product development.

The Cherokee model range includes competitors for everything from economical crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 to luxury models like the BMW X3 and rugged off-roaders like the Toyota 4Runner.

Nov 21 2013
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is betting big that it can grow the ailing midsize pickup segment. It will reveal its solution Wednesday at the LA Auto Show: a stylish, sporty and more fuel-efficient 2015 Chevrolet Colorado.

The newly redesigned Colorado will return to showrooms in fall 2014 after going out of production in summer 2012.

“The vision for our midsize truck was really very simple: to produce the most capable, versatile and fuel-efficient midsize pickup truck America has ever seen,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president for global Chevrolet.