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 13 2016

    Ford Redevelopment Plan In Dearborn Estimated At $1.2B

    Written by Brent Snavely | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    Ford unveiled sweeping plans today to redevelop dozens of buildings in Dearborn that house more than 30,000 employees in a project that will transform the automaker's presence in the city into two distinct campuses over the next 10 years.

    The project, which represents an investment estimated at more than $1.2 billion, is intended to give Ford's employees the work environment and technology necessary to design and develop cars of the future.

    In some ways, the massive project, in planning for more than three years, is long overdue.

  • Mar 31 2016

    Review: 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Epitomizes Offroad Cred

    Written by Aaron Turpen | Posted on GizMag

    The term "jeep" is filled with history and connotations in the American vernacular and has become universal for any vehicle that can traverse rough landscapes. The Jeep brand, of course, has been around for generations and when most people hear "Jeep" they think of the Wrangler, the direct descendant of the Willy's Jeeps of the Second World War.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Mar 31 2016

    Buick Marketing To Evolve As Brand Launches 4 Models

    Written by Brent Snavely | Posted on Detroit Free Press

    Buick is gearing up for a big marketing blitz as it prepares to launch four new or redesigned models, but don't expect the brand to back away from its self-deprecating campaign that shows people asking "Is that a Buick?"

    Buick is in the middle of launching its Cascada midsize convertible and is working on new ads for the Envision midsize crossover that goes on sale this summer as well as for a redesigned LaCrosse full-size sedan this summer and its new Encore this fall.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Mar 31 2016

    No Mountains? No Problem. Ford's Virtual Mountain Towed Behind All-New Super Duty Simulates Steep Hills Anywhere

    | Posted on Ford Media

    When testing the toughest, smartest, most capable Ford F-Series Super Duty ever, engineers discovered the all-new truck is so powerful that it needed new equipment to simulate traveling up steep mountain grades to ensure it lives up to its Built Ford Tough reputation.

    Traditionally, a dynamometer sled is attached to the vehicle hitch and pulled behind it. The old-style dynamometer did not challenge the power of the all-new Super Duty, so Ford set out to find a new, stronger dyno sled to test the vehicle’s mountain climbing capability limits.

    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
  • Mar 23 2016

    GMC Blacks Out With Terrain Nightfall Edition

    Written by Greg Gardner | Posted on USA TODAY
    GMC found lots of new ways to give its Terrain SUV a darkened, edgy look -- and it all comes together in the special 2017 Nightfall Edition that will be seen at the New York Auto Show this week.
    The vehicle will go on sale this fall and joins the Canyon Nightfall Edition and the all-new Sierra All Terrain X as the latest GMC vehicles to offer a personalized appearance with the Terrain’s premium features.
    Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy