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




  • Apr 30 2015

    Habitat for Humanity Detroit Partners with FCA US for House Build

    | Posted on Chrysler Media Group

    General Motors will announce a new round of plant investments Thursday at its Pontiac Metal Center just as an independent report found the company's U.S. manufacturing employment reached its highest level last year since the 2009 bankruptcy.

    Thursday's news is expected to detail upgrades at the Pontiac stamping operation, Delta Township assembly plant near Lansing and other locations. This week local officials in Arlington, Tex., voted on incentives for a $1.2 billion expansion of the assembly plant that produces the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Apr 29 2015

    Ford to make small number of ’15 Shelby GT350 Mustangs

    Written by Michael Martinez | Posted on The Detroit News

    If you want a 2015 model-year Shelby GT350 or GT350R Mustang, good luck.

    Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday said it will make a very limited batch of the performance cars with 2015 VIN numbers in honor of their 50th anniversary. It will make 100 GT350s and 37 GT350Rs.

    The 37 number carries some significance for enthusiasts: When Carol Shelby made the first GT350 competition model in 1965, he made two prototypes and 34 production models. Later, someone bought and completed an unfinished production model, which Shelby unofficially counted as the 37th vehicle produced.

  • Apr 28 2015

    GM to give Kettering University $4 million for proving ground, powertrain lab

    Written by Laura Colby | Posted on Bloomberg

    Kettering University, which taught General Motors leaders such as CEO Mary Barra, is getting a $4 million gift from the carmaker to build a proving ground and powertrain test lab.

    GM’s philanthropy arm plans to announce the donation Tuesday to the Flint, Mich., school, which the automaker once owned. The facilities, to be built in the next two to three years, will be used by students and professors researching topics such as electric cars and autonomous vehicles. The project is part of Kettering’s efforts to fight blight in Flint, which became an automotive powerhouse after GM was

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Apr 28 2015

    FCA US Recognized as Health, Safety and Energy Leader in Automotive Manufacturing

    | Posted on Chrysler Media Group

    FCA US LLC has achieved a significant milestone by having the most manufacturing facilities certified in both Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001:2007 and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 50001:2011 of any North American automotive company.

    Thirty-one facilities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico were evaluated in less than 24 months by an accredited, third-party certification body. Recognized internationally, OHSAS 18001 focuses on worker health and safety, and ISO 50001 focuses on energy management and conservation.

  • Apr 27 2015

    Chevrolet hopes for big things from its small cargo van

    Written by Carol Cain | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    Chevy is borrowing a page from its past at it appeals to small business owners – a hot market as the number of entrepreneurs continues to grow -- with its 2015 Chevrolet City Express small cargo van.

    The City Express continues the tradition that began in 1936 with the Chevrolet Canopy Express vehicle which street vendors used to sell flowers, food and other products from the back.

    It was followed by the 1949 Chevrolet Canopy – another vehicle that found a ready audience with the mom and pop entrepreneurs.