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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 21 2013
Written by Nathan Bomey | Posted on Detroit Free Press

General Motors is introducing two new variations of the ChevroletSonic subcompact, a key vehicle in the automaker’s effort to reach millennials.

GM revealed the Chevrolet Sonic RS sedan and the Chevrolet Sonic Dusk today. They will go on sale in the spring. Workers at the automaker’s Orion Township assembly plant will build them.

Nov 21 2013
Written by Gary Gastelu | Posted on Fox News

The automaker has revealed a concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show that offers a preview of the style and substance of the next generation of its popular crossover.

The five-passenger vehicle features a sleeker design than the current model, with a swept-back grille, muscular hood and slim LED headlamps.

Inside a leather-wrapped upscale interior is centered around a gigantic 10-inch touch screen for the MyFord Touch infotainment system, augmented with a control knob and more buttons than the current edition.

Nov 21 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 20 2013
Written by Nathan Bomey | Posted on Detroit Free Press
General Motors is revealing the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado in a bet that there’s still substantial demand for midsize pickups.
 
After Ford and Chrysler exited the midsize pickup business in recent years, GM recommitted to redo the Colorado and its cousin, the GMC Canyon.
 
The 2015 Colorado, which will hit dealerships in fall 2014, will be revealed this morning at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Nov 20 2013
Written by Alisa Priddle | Posted on USA Today

Ford will debut a new Edge crossover utility concept Wednesday that is close to the lighter-weight vehicle that will go on sale next year.

The automaker is spending $700 million at the Oakville assembly plant in Ontario to build the 2015 Edge alongside the Lincoln MKX. Ford will export both models.

Design manager Kevin George said the goal was to transform the Edge from a heavyweight boxer to a sprinter — still muscular, but more nimble.