Chicago Automobile Trade Association

The face of America's auto industry is changing

September 3, 2021
More U.S. workers now are employed by foreign automakers and suppliers than domestic carmakers, according to fresh data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
About 51% of the 999,000 U.S. workers in the motor vehicles and parts manufacturing sector are employed by companies based in other countries, according to BEA data through 2019, the latest available. That’s up from 34% in 2009.
Auto suppliers, the vast majority of which are foreign-based, account for many of those jobs, the Center for Automotive Research noted.
"This is all driven by investment," said Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Global Business Alliance. "Global automakers are making big bets on U.S. manufacturing because we have a huge consumer market, a skilled workforce and a strong business climate."
Fear of tariffs on imported vehicles and parts under the former Trump administration also contributed to global carmakers' growing U.S. footprint, industry sources told Axios.


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