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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.

Sep 12 2013
Written by Alissa Priddle | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Ford is increasing production of its off-road super truck, the F-150 SVT Raptor, at the Dearborn Truck plant to meet demand.

Ford started making the desert racing truck in 2009 as a 2010 model, making two an hour on the same line that pumps out hundreds of thousands of regular F-150s a year.

Raptor production then increased to three trucks an hour in early 2012. Now, Ford is working with suppliers to boost that to five an hour, hopefully in the next eight to 10 weeks.

Sep 11 2013
Chrysler Media

September 10, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2014 Ram Truck lineup offers a truckload of innovative, segment-exclusive features and services, adding to an already best-in-class interior. For 2014, Ram Truck offers the latest Uconnect systems, with an available six- or 12-month Uconnect Access trial, in addition to a trial of Uconnect Access Via Mobile (late availability), which enables drivers to listen to and control their personal Aha, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Slacker Internet radio accounts via the 8.4-inch touchscreen display.

Smart Uconnect system
Two Uconnect systems are offered to provide Ram Truck customers with a range of features and connectivity options to best suit their needs, including:
Uconnect 8.4A — features an 8.4-inch color touchscreen and offers customers the flexibility to purchase navigation after the vehicle sale. The system also provides Ram Truck customers with multiple ways to stay connected. Drivers can use the voice recognition technology to place handsfree phone calls, control their music or send a text message. There are a variety of ways to access digital music content, including SiriusXM Radio, access to a SD, USB and 3.5 mm auxiliary input in the media console, and all are standard. Also, an optional CD player is located in the lower storage bin of the center console.

Uconnect 8.4AN — features an 8.4-inch color touchscreen with standard navigation and provides Ram Truck customers with multiple handsfree ways to stay entertained in their truck.

Sep 11 2013
Written by Harry Pegg | Posted on Autonet

In 1983, Lee Iacocca, then chairman of Chrysler, unleashed the minivan on the auto market when he introduced the new breed of garageable front-wheel drive wagons and vans – the 1984 Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and Mini Ram Van.

He said: “I predict the Voyager and Caravan will be to the ‘80s what the Mustang was to the ‘60s – vehicles that create extraordinary excitement and buyer interest and force other manufacturers to come up with copycat versions.”

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Sep 10 2013
GM News

DETROIT – The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is available with even more advanced-safety features, including a rear-vision camera, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure Warning.

When activated, Forward Collision Alert warns drivers if they are approaching a vehicle too quickly. Lane Departure Warning gives an alert when the vehicle veers from a marked roadway lane. The rear-vision camera, enabled by the Chevrolet MyLink’s 7-inch digital touch-screen, helps give drivers a clearer view of stationary objects behind the vehicle.

Sep 10 2013
GM News

DETROIT – The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and High Country and the GMC Sierra and Sierra Denali 1500, available this fall, with a 6.2L V-8 produces an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (at 5600 rpm) and 460 lb-ft of torque (at 4100 rpm), the most power of any pickup engine and torque of any light duty pickup truck engine.

The 6.2L V-8 available for Silverado LTZ and High Country and Sierra SLT and Denali models also delivers class-leading maximum available trailering capacity of 12,000 pounds when properly equipped.