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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 18 2013

The car of the future is going to drive itself, brake itself, park itself (more or less) — and be part of a worldwide communications system that will be based on 4G; it will gather and communicate data, that will be used to offer a Facebook-style personalised experience to drivers. That's the vision of the future smart car that General Motors presented at an event in Israel recently, as Gil Golan, director of GM's Advanced Technical Center (ATC) in Israel, shared the company's view of how the vehicles of the future could look.

Nov 18 2013
Written by Katie Spence | Posted on Daily Finance

On Aug. 15, 1940, the Army contracted with Chrysler to create the nation's first government-owned, contractor-operated facility at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Warren, Mich. Is TARDEC's partnership with General Motors the next stage in tank evolution?

Nov 15 2013
Written by Sam McEachern | Posted on GM Authority

Thanks to a $400,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will head south to perform with Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn and Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist Olga Kern during a tour of Southern Florida.

The GM Foundation has donated more than $84 million to various Detroit non-profit organizations and cultural institutions over the last decade, including a nearly $2 million grant to the DSO in order to help it bring its performances to Detroit and New York’s Carnegie hall, where it played in May of this year.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Nov 15 2013
Written by Chris Woodyard | Posted on USA Today

Two famous American corporate names are collaborating on a venture to use less plastic, save the planet and garner some favorable publicity all at the same time.

The results will be seen at the Los Angeles Auto Show here next week.

Coca-Cola and Ford Motor are working together on making car seat fabric out of recycled plastic soda bottles.

Nov 15 2013
Written by Daniel Jennings | Posted on Benzinga

The use of natural gas to power vehicles could become widespread, thanks to a new storage tank developed by Chrysler. Automotive News reported that the new tank will free automakers from the need to use large cylinders to store natural gas.

Natural gas for vehicles had use to have to be stored in special cylinders, similar to the ones on barbecue grills. The new tanks use a shape similar to the human lung to store in several different compartments.