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




  • Jun 19 2015

    Ford Will Upgrade the Transit Van Built Exclusively at Claycomo

    Written by Steve Rosen | Posted on The Kansas City Star

    The popular Transit commercial van, built at Ford Motor Co.’s Kansas City assembly plant, is undergoing a mini-makeover as it turns 1 year old.

    The new standard features and options for the 2016 Transit will include sliding cargo doors, a rearview camera and trailer hitch technology, and an improved communications and entertainment system with voice recognition and easier-to-understand navigational graphics, Ford said.

  • Jun 18 2015

    For People Who Push Back: Warren Truck Pushes Out First 2015 Ram 1500 Rebels

    | Posted on FCA US Media

    FCA US LLC began production this week of the all-new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.). The one-of-a-kind, full-size truck is assembled by more than 4,000 employees across 3.3 million square feet of the Company’s 75-year-old truck plant.
    The Ram 1500 Rebel makes a statement with an all-new, blacked-out grille and distinctive billet silver “RAM” letter badge. Rebel is designed with increased ride height, standard 33-inch tires, skid plates, tow hooks, and a unique brawny interior starting at $42,790.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Jun 17 2015

    See How the Dodge Viper is Built

    Written by Brent Snavely | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    Part of the mystique of the Dodge Viper is how the $87,000 super car is made.

    Each car is hand-built by 64 hourly workers the company refers to as craftsman at a 400,000-square-foot plant just south of 8 Mile Road on Detroit's Northeast side.

    Unlike most auto plants that are visible from interstate highways it's easy to be a block or two away from the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, which is tucked behind an extended-stay hospital, without even seeing it.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Jun 16 2015

    GM Foundation Donates $75,000 to Nine Area Organizations Through Plant City Grants Program

    | Posted on General Motors Media

    Wentzville, MO – The General Motors Foundation donated $75,000 to nine nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas today. These grants bring GM Foundation contributions to the St. Louis metro area this year to $150,000, to date.

    “A huge part of being a good corporate neighbor is giving back to the local community,” said GM Wentzville Plant Manager Nancy Laubenthal.  “The GM Foundation provides funding to some great organizations that do important work right here in own backyard.”  

  • Jun 16 2015

    FCA: Miranda Lambert’s “Roots and Wings” Takes Flight

    Written by By Kevin E. Frazier | Posted on FCA

    Since Grammy® Award-winner Miranda Lambert debuted “Roots and Wings” – a song Lambert wrote especially for the Ram Truck brand and the cornerstone of a Ram Truck marketing initiative – there has been much fan excitement and interest in the song.  So much so, that Lambert decided to create a long-form commercial featuring additional verses of the song never heard before.