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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.

Dec 03 2013
Written by Bennett J. Loudon | Posted on Democrat & Chronicle

General Motors executive John Bradburn longs for the day when the automaker won't have to do any recycling.

It's not that Bradburn, general manager of the corporation's waste reduction efforts, isn't environmentally friendly. Actually, he's hoping that someday everything will be used up in the production process and there won't be anything left over to dispose of.

"We want to recycle and reuse zero. That would mean all material is consumed in the process," said Bradburn.

Dec 03 2013
Written by Michael Wayland | Posted on MLive

 Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers are partnering with the American Football Coaches Association for a new program aimed at keeping children safe and finding them quicker if something was to happen.

The new program, which officials announced today at Ford Field in Detroit, includes distributing inkless fingerprint identification kits to at least 225,000 families in communities the Dearborn-based automaker and UAW has hourly employees, including 50,000 kits for Detroit Public Schools.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 03 2013
Written by Bryce G. Hoffman | Posted on The Detroit News

Chrysler Group LLC announced Monday that it will introduce a new compact van for the North American market sometime next year.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be based on the Fiat Doblo, a two-time winner of the International Van of the Year award.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 02 2013
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

General Motors Co. will produce a limited number of Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Premiere Edition convertibles that will arrive in showrooms early next year.

The special edition Stingray convertible costs $77,450 and will be limited to 550 vehicles, the automaker said this week. The vehicles feature the 3LT trim and come in a lime rock green exterior and a brownstone suede interior.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Dec 02 2013
Written by Jon LeSage | Posted on Autoblog Green

The Ford Motor Company is getting competitive on the compressed natural gas (CNG) truck front. While Detroit counterparts General Motors and Chrysler have a head start, Ford has begun manufacturing its 2014 F-150 – the first CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup – and the CNG engine will be extended to eight of its commercial vehicles.