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 05 2015

    Sold-out ‘Mopar Road Ready’ Event Put Metro Detroit Teens in the Driver’s Seat

    | Posted on Chrysler Media Group

    More than 190 teens gained valuable knowledge behind the wheel during four sold-out sessions of the “Mopar Road Ready” program, when it made its third 2015 stop on May 2–3 at Mopar World Headquarters in Center Line, Michigan. 

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 04 2015

    Chevy cuts price on next-gen Volt; to start at $33,995

    Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

    General Motors Co. said Sunday its 2016 Chevrolet Volt — which has 31 percent more all-electric range than the first generation car, a sportier appearance and adds a fifth seat — will be priced about $1,175 cheaper than the current car.

    The 2016 plug-in electric hybrid Volt will be available for $33,995 including destination fee, early in the second half of the year. Lease pricing will be available closer to its sale date, Chevy said.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 04 2015

    FCA to offer free college education to dealership employees

    Written by Larry P. Vellequette | Posted on Automotive News

    Fiat Chrysler, seeking to curb the industry’s “dramatic” turnover rate among dealership employees, said  it will offer “no-cost, no-debt” college educations to workers at participating U.S. dealerships.

    The cost of the education -- for individual classes and associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at Strayer University in about 40 fields of study -- will be paid for entirely by FCA and its dealers.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • May 01 2015

    GM to invest $5.4B in U.S., Michigan plants

    Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

    General Motors Co. on Thursday said it will create 650 new jobs as it invests $5.4 billion into U.S. plants through 2017, including a total of $783.5 million at three Michigan sites.

    GM and UAW executives announced the investments at GM's Pontiac Metal Center, which is getting $124 million in upgrades, including a new press. It will add 15 jobs with the investment. The plant was among those that faced closure around GM's bankruptcy but today has about 490 employees.

  • May 01 2015

    2016 Shelby GT350 Allotments Sent to Dealerships

    Written by Patrick Rall | Posted on Torque News

    Earlier this week, we were talking about the limited edition 2015 Shelby GT350 and GT350R Mustangs that will be available in very limited numbers, with only 100 of the GT350 and 37 of the GT350R made for the 2015 model year. These cars will likely be very expensive and very hard to get, but it is expected that Ford will build thousands of new Shelby GT350 Mustang models for the 2016 model year.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy