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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.

Jan 14 2014
Written by Associated Press | Posted on Washington Post

DETROIT — Some call it a game-changer. Some just shake their heads. Either way, Ford’s new aluminum-clad F-150 is such a radical departure from past pickup trucks that it dominated talk at the opening of the Detroit auto show.

Ford Motor Co. unveiled the 2015 F-150, whose body is 97-percent aluminum, on Monday. The lighter material shaves as much as 700 pounds off the 5,000-pound truck, a revolutionary change for a vehicle known for its heft and an industry still reliant on steel. No other vehicle on the market contains this much aluminum.

Jan 13 2014
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN and TOM KRISHER / AP Auto Writers | Posted on Boston.com

Ford pickups have been doing the country’s work for 66 years. They've hauled grain, towed logs and plowed snow. They've cleared debris after tornadoes and pulled floats in the Rose Bowl parade.

They've shouldered those loads with parts forged from steel. Until now.

Jan 13 2014
Written by Mark Phelan | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Ford aims to reinvent the pickup before most people are even in the office today, and that’s just the start of the news coming from the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit

Jan 10 2014
Written by Benjamin Preston | Posted on The New York Times

Although Mopar has been Chrysler’s parts and service moniker since before World War II, it was during muscle-car craze of the 1960s that it came to be identified with performance aftermarket parts. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week, Chrysler will have a sizable Mopar display as part of its 5,500-square-foot spread, showing off several vehicles laden with aftermarket parts.

Jan 10 2014
Written by Doug Palmer and Adam Behsudi | Posted on Politico Pro

Three senior lawmakers on Thursday unveiled long-awaited legislation to help President Barack Obama strike major trade deals in Asia and Europe, setting the stage for a potential election-year battle between the president and many of his fellow Democrats in Congress.

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