Overview: The Automotive Industry in the United States

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Overview: The Automotive Industry in the United States


Category: Automobile / Transport

The United States has one of the largest automotive markets in the world and is home to many global vehicle and auto parts manufacturers. After vehicle production dipped below 6 million units in 2009, production more than doubled to over 12 million passenger vehicles in the United States in 2015.

The United States is the second largest vehicle producer in the world, behind only China in 2015. U.S. vehicle sales declined to 10.4 million units in 2009. However, vehicle sales have steadily risen each year since and reached 17.4 million units in 2015. Overall, the United States is the world’s second largest market for vehicle sales.

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. General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Tesla all have U.S. manufacturing facilities. 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, including dealerships, historically accounts for approximately 3 to 3.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Motor vehicles and parts manufacturers employed, on average, 909,700 people in 2015.

Since GM and Chrysler exited bankruptcy, the “Detroit Three” have invested in facilities, totaling more than $30 billion in domestic investments. International automakers have $52 billion invested in U.S.-based production facilities and directly employ more than 97,000 Americans.

Despite challenges within the industry in recent years, the U.S. automotive sector 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.  According to the Auto Alliance, the automotive industry spends nearly $100 billion on R&D, with $18 billion per year spent in the United States.

In 2015, the United States exported approximately 2.6 million vehicles valued at $65 billion to more than 200 countries around the world, with additional exports of automotive parts valued at approximately $81 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.

Source: Select USA