AAPC 2016 Research & Development Report
The U.S. Auto Industry is a Leader in Research & Development
Automakers and their suppliers are the world’s second biggest investor in R&D. Automakers and their suppliers invest more than $115 billion in R&D each year, or more than $1,300 of R&D for each vehicle sold last year (worldwide).
This $115 billion represents approximately 16% of the world’s R&D: more than the hardware, software, electronics, chemicals, aerospace, defense, or oil & gas sectors. Automakers and their suppliers rank second out of 41 industries. (Only pharmaceutical companies invested more.) Autos moved to second place from third in 2014, in part, because they increased their R&D by 9.9% over the prior year, versus an industry-wide increase of 6.8%.
Why does FCA, Ford, and General Motors Research & Development matter?
Importance of automakers to manufacturing R&D. In the U.S., automakers and suppliers invested nearly $20 billion in R&D last year, much of that developing alternative fuels, advanced powertrains, new materials, and better sensors. As a result, automakers and their suppliers employ nearly 1 in 10 U.S. engineers and scientists working in the private sector.
At their R&D facilities in Auburn Hills, Dearborn, and Warren, Michigan, FCA US, Ford, and General Motors together employ 45,000 workers. The engineers and scientists working at these facilities — busy developing alternative fuels, advanced powertrains, new materials, and enhanced safety equipment — are just part of the companies’ $19 billion annual investment in R&D. In fact, FCA, Ford, and General Motors rank among the world’s top producers of R&D. Each invests more per year than HP, Facebook, DOW, or ExxonMobil.
U.S. Automakers are Leaders in Research & Development and Innovation
Together FCA, Ford, and General Motors invest more than some government organizations, including NASA.
FCA, Ford, and General Motors are leading a global race to develop alternative fuels, advanced materials, and autonomous vehicles. Over the past five years alone, FCA, Ford, and General Motors have collectively applied for more than 15,000 U.S. patents.