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Japanese carmakers: A vital part of the U.S. economy

By Manny Manriquez, General Director of JAMA USA
-    Oct 12, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Over nearly four decades, Japanese-brand automakers have built up a vast American presence. It has made a cumulative manufacturing investment of about $51 billion, produced more than 84 million vehicles and sold more than $1 trillion in locally-made auto parts.

Today, our members build one-third of all vehicles produced in the United States. The industry provides more than 93,000 direct American jobs and supports over 1.6 million U.S. jobs throughout the value chain (suppliers, dealerships and services, as well as spin-off employment). Our footprint touches every state in the country, forging a network of enduring partnerships that are a central theme in the success story of Japanese-brand automakers in America.

Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. General Director Manny Manriquez

Those impressive figures enable me to talk often about the contributions of the members of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) using economic data. But what strikes me most during my travels around the country are the individual stories of the people I meet, like the hotel clerk in Georgetown, Kentucky, who appreciates the economic benefits Toyota's’ presence means for her job and the broader community; the dedicated and brilliant people at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio, which thrives to a large degree because of Honda's’ longtime manufacturing and R&D presence; the staff at the Japan-America Society of Indiana, who understand that the Honda, Subaru, and Toyota auto plants in that state create thousands of jobs and lift up the economic prospects of thousands more across the state; and the students at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Murfreesboro’s Smyrna Campus, where Nissan is a partner supporting skills development for TCAT students and employees of Nissan’s nearby auto plant

The people powering JAMA member companies are at the forefront of the auto industry. Their spirit of partnership pervades our members’ workforce development initiatives. JAMA members actively partner with local educational institutions, businesses, and non-profit groups around the country to cultivate the creative, innovative, and sustainable talent pipeline that is essential to a company’s success. These programs enable employees and members of the public alike to take advantage of the best skill-building opportunities available.

These examples reflect the human element behind our members’ local engagement and the 1.6 million U.S. jobs they support. And the enduring partnerships JAMA members have forged are the building blocks of the American auto industry.

Yet the industry is undergoing dramatic changes. No matter what challenges we face – an increasingly complicated and uncertain trade environment, regulatory challenges, or finding innovative ways to pursue the connected and autonomous mobility future – the auto industry must always evolve. With new investments and a changing industry on the horizon, our members will continue to tap into the unique American spirit to create affordable, fun, and innovative vehicles for current and future generations of drivers and their families.

The JAMA member success story is the result of decades of collaboration between JAMA member companies and multiple generations of American workforce talent. The focus: building cars and trucks that U.S. consumers love. This is the core mission that drives our members’ dedication to the full spectrum of advanced manufacturing, high-tech research and development, and innovative design at facilities around the country.

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