The Automotive Industry in the United States

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The U.S. Automotive Industry

front end of an automobile being welded together

The United States has one of the largest automotive markets in the world and is home to 13 auto manufacturers.  From 2007 to 2011, manufacturers produced an average of 8.1 million passenger vehicles annually in the United States.  Since Honda opened its first U.S. plant in 1982, almost every major European, Japanese, and Korean automaker has produced vehicles at one or more U.S. assembly plants. In addition to Honda and the big three U.S. auto companies - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, BMW, Daimler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru all have U.S. manufacturing facilities. In May 2011, Volkswagen opened a new U.S. plant, bringing the manufacturer count to 13.  In addition, many manufacturers also have engine and transmission plants and are conducting research and development, design, and testing in the United States. The automotive industry accounts for between 4 and 5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and employed 716,900 people in 2011

There is also an extensive network of auto parts suppliers serving the industry. Suppliers produced $171 billion in industry shipments in 2011, accounting for approximately 3 percent of total U.S. manufacturing. According to the Center for Automotive Research, automotive suppliers accounted for 3.3 million jobs nationwide in 2008 - more jobs and economic wellbeing than any other manufacturing sector.

Despite challenges within the industry in recent years, the U.S. automotive market is at the forefront of innovation.  New research and development initiatives are transforming the industry to better respond to the opportunities of the 21st century.

In 2011, the United States exported approximately 2.5 million vehicles to more than 200 countries around the world valued at $60.9 billion, with additional exports of automotive parts valued at approximately $67 billion. With an open investment policy, a large consumer market, a highly skilled workforce, available infrastructure, and government incentives, the United States is the premier place for the future of the auto industry.