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




  • May 28 2015

    Production of the FCA US Pentastar V-6 Engine Family Surpasses 5 Million

    | Posted on Chrysler Media Group

    Cementing its status as an FCA US LLC workhorse, total production of the Pentastar V-6 engine family surpassed the 5-million mark earlier this month.

    First introduced in the 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, the Pentastar V-6 is the most advanced six-cylinder engine in the history of FCA US, with an ideal integration of select technologies that deliver refinement, fuel efficiency and performance. Today, Pentastar V-6 engines are available in 14 vehicles from the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 27 2015

    GM to invest $1.2B in Fort Wayne plant

    Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

    General Motors Co. said Tuesday it will invest $1.2 billion at its Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Roanoke, Indiana, the latest announcement tied to the company's $5.4 billion in spending at U.S. plants over three years.

    The Detroit automaker said Fort Wayne will get a new pre-treating paint operation, plus an expanded body shop; larger material parts sequencing centers; and upgrades to the general assembly area for light- and heavy-duty trucks. Work is set to begin next month and will take several years to finish, GM said.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 26 2015

    GM wrings more pickups out of busy plant

    Written by Mike Colias | Posted on Automotive News

    Dealers are starving for more hot-selling Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. And workers at General Motors' St. Louis-area truck plant are starving themselves to eke out a few more of them.

    The Wentzville, Mo., factory recently cut an unpaid lunch break, part of a broader schedule reshuffling that eliminated the six-minute production lulls between shifts. The result: An extra 18 minutes of production in a three-shift day, which should translate into more than 3,500 more trucks a year.

  • May 21 2015

    The world's best sports car? Chevy Corvette ZO6 review

    Written by Mark Phelan | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    You'd have a hard time proving the **** 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible isn't the best sports car on Earth.

    With 0-60 m.p.h. times as low as of 2.95 seconds — quicker than the moment between your phone's first and second rings — it'd be easy to call the ZO6 scary fast, but there's nothing remotely frightening about Chevrolet's 650-horsepower supercar.

    Sure, the Corvette ZO6 is the most powerful Corvette ever, but it's also a great value, remarkably fuel-efficient and so easy to drive you may forget you're at the wheel of one of the world's great cars.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 19 2015

    2015 Lincoln Navigator Review: a Stunning Luxury People Mover with Pickup Power

    Written by Patrick Rall | Posted on Torque News

    The 2015 Lincoln Navigator is a rarity in the modern American auto industry as one of the few big SUVs still using the truck-like body-on-frame architecture, but that relatively old school design leads to a full sized SUV that has as much interior space and as many luxury amenities as any SUV in America – while still offering truck-like capabilities that make this high class rig a serious work horse.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy