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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 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.

Aug 06 2013
Written by G. Chambers Williams III | Posted on The Tennessean

General Motors is expected to unveil a major expansion for its Spring Hill plant Tuesday that could finally bring the long-promised two additional vehicles to assembly lines in Middle Tennessee, which analysts said Monday would most likely be a pair of premium midsize crossovers -- one each from Buick and Cadillac.

If the automaker holds to its earlier pledge made when the plant re-opened, the expansion should bring an additional investment of about $358 million and could double employment at the plant, which now has 2,002 workers.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Aug 06 2013
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

Acme, Mich. —Chrysler Group LLC said Monday it will expand its World Class Manufacturing Academy in Warren to help train more workers and add new training scenarios and areas to help improve quality.

The company opened the academy in January 2012. It plans by September to add 15,000 square feet to the center, which will bring the total square feet to 40,000, said Mauro Pino, Chrysler’s vice president of vehicle assembly operations and head of World Class Manufacturing, during the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars.


Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Aug 05 2013
GM News

DETROIT – Ultrasonic welding, a high-tech manufacturing process used in the aerospace and medical industries, is helping ensure high quality for the new Cadillac ELR extended-range electric luxury coupe that goes on sale in North America in early 2014.

Ultrasonic welding’s key advantage is exceptional and predictable quality and performance from one battery pack to the next. Every ELR battery, for example, has close to 200 ultrasonic welds. Each is required to meet stringent quality requirements, enabling Cadillac to offer an eight-year/100,000-mile battery system warranty.