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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 07 2015
Written by Michael Martinez | Posted on The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.’s 2015 F-150 pickup on Tuesday was named Truck Trend Magazine’s 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year.

The latest version of Ford’s best-selling vehicle is made with an aluminum body that helps save up to 700 pounds compared to previous models.

“The 2015 Ford F-150 is our toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever, and Truck Trend’s Pickup Truck of the Year award reinforces that this is truly the best choice for America’s truck buyers,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a statement. “We are proud to receive this award.”

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Jan 07 2015
Written by Brent Snavely | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Tuesday it sold more than 1 million Jeeps worldwide last year — a record number and clear evidence of a successful strategy to retool the brand's lineup to improve international marketing and sales.

The company plans to nearly double that figure in five years with new plants coming online in China and Brazil, two of world's largest vehicle markets, along with production of the Jeep Renegade in Italy, said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the brand.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Jan 06 2015
Written by Alisa Priddle | Posted on Detroit Free Press

What started as a handful of engineers on a feasibility mission grew to more than 1,000 working to create the new 2015 Ford F-150 with an aluminum body and a number of other new technologies.

The fact-finding began in 2008 for a truck that would reach dealerships now. It was a longer gestation than normal for a new vehicle because the transformation of the truck and the plants that make it was so extensive.

Jan 05 2015
Written by Christina Rogers | Posted on The Wall Street Journal

General Motors Co.GM -1.69% took journalists by surprise Sunday night when it offered a glimpse of its next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle ahead of its official unveiling at the Detroit auto show next week.

The company offered no details about the car. GM officials just opened the curtains for a few minutes–enough to snap a couple photos–and closed them at a press event during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy
Jan 05 2015
Chrysler Media Group

 FCA US LLC began exterior construction on its Windsor (Ont.) Assembly Plant today, using a 600-ton crane to start installing 200 pieces of structural steel to create a new conveyor enclosure on the plant’s roof.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Economy