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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.

Aug 08 2013
Written by Tim Higgins | Posted on Bloomberg

Automakers, enjoying the best U.S. sales since 2007, this week disclosed plans to spend $434 million to boost their capacity to make vehicles and engines in North America.

Ford Motor Co. (F) said it’s looking to squeeze more vehicles out of every factory on the continent. Honda Motor Co. (7267) said yesterday it will invest $215 million in Ohio, including about $180 million at an engine plant, the Tokyo-based automaker said in a statement. Chrysler Group LLC yesterday said it will add capacity and almost 300 jobs at a Michigan engine plant.

Aug 07 2013
Written by Erik Schelzig | Posted on Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — General Motors plans to spend another $167 million at its Tennessee factory so it can build two new midsize vehicles.

The investment disclosed Tuesday is on top of a previously announced $183 million investment. The spending is expected to create or keep 1,800 jobs, but GM wouldn't say how many new people would be hired.

Aug 07 2013
The Detroit News

Chrysler Group LLC will invest $52 million in its engine plants in Trenton and Dundee to increase output of its four-cylinder Tigershark motor — a move that will create 298 new jobs.

The Auburn Hills automaker is spending $11.5 million to add a new assembly line for the Tigershark at its Trenton North factory, where all the new positions are being created. The company is spending another $40.5 million to convert a line at Dundee to machine cranks, heads and blocks to support Tigershark production at Trenton. The Dundee plant also will continue to assemble Tigershark engines, as well as two other four-cylinder motors.


Aug 07 2013
Written by Damon Lowney | Posted on Autoblog

The signs have been very positive for Ford's F-Series line of pickup trucks as of late, and after 24 consecutive months of increasing sales of the best-selling F-150, the automaker has added a third production crew at its Kansas City Assembly Plant that includes 900 new hourly workers to meet demand for the truck. This the first step in Ford's plan to add 2,000 hourly jobs at the plant to help meet demand for its trucks and to begin production of the new Transit van, the automaker says.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Aug 06 2013
Written by Tom Krisher | Posted on Detroit Free Press

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. — Americans are keeping their cars and trucks longer than ever, and even with new car sales increasing, the average age will continue to rise, an industry research firm says.

The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads hit a record of 11.4 years in January, the latest figures available from state registration data gathered by the Polk research firm.