CEO Column

2023: A Year in Review

Jennifer Safavian
December 21, 2023

Our mission at Autos Drive America is to advocate for a strong domestic auto industry and advance our goals through three core pillars: jobs, trade, and growth. Despite a challenging year that included political gridlock in Congress and a reticence from the Biden Administration to engage on several of our key issues, I’m proud to report that in 2023, we were able to advance our agenda and secure several accomplishments. Below, I’ve listed out some highlights from our past year.


In October, Autos Drive America organized and hosted its first-ever Congressional Drive-In, bringing nearly 100 workers from member companies across 13 states to Washington, D.C. These workers met with nearly 60 offices on Capitol Hill to share their stories and showcase the positive impact international automakers are having in local communities throughout the nation.

This summer, we released our fourth annual Economic Impact Report (EIR), a collection of data that highlights the contributions our members make to the domestic auto industry and displays our integral role in the U.S. economy. Importantly, the data collected in the 2023 EIR showed how international automakers have boosted U.S. manufacturing jobs to a total of 103,600—an increase of more than 13,000 from the previous year. Member company workers also produced 4.4 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, accounting for 45% of all U.S. light vehicle production. Each year, we utilize the report as a tool to share international automakers’ tremendous contributions at the local, state, and national levels.


In 2023, Autos Drive America directly engaged with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the White House, the Department of Commerce, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to advance key policy priorities that would boost domestic auto manufacturing. While we were pleased the Biden Administration reached an agreement with our Japanese partners to strengthen critical mineral supply chains, it is unfortunate the administration did not do enough to move the ball forward on a robust trade agenda. In a recent example, the United States recently failed to reach an agreement on the Trade Pillar of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), essentially ceding trade leadership in the region for the next several decades.

We also continued to engage with stakeholders and allies in the trade community to spread the message about the impact global trade has on EV policy here at home. At the start of the year, I moderated a panel discussion at the Washington D.C. Auto Show that included Ambassador to the European Union Stavros Lambrinidis and focused the discussion on the U.S.’s transition to clean vehicles and the EU’s role in the shift. Over the summer, I also participated in the German American Chambers of Commerce’s Transatlantic Dialogue series on the EV landscape and had the opportunity to travel to Germany to meet other members of the automotive industry and discuss our shared policy goals.


Our members continued their tremendous growth in 2023, with investments from international automakers now topping $107 billion. On top of that, those companies have committed $22.5 billion specifically for electrification investments. New announcements are made seemingly each month, showcasing our members’ commitment to growing their presence and impact in the U.S. This year, they contributed $37.5 billion in state and local tax revenues—up $9 billion from the previous year.

To help continue this tremendous growth, Autos Drive America this year helped to lead the automotive industry’s push to make as many EVs as possible eligible for the Inflation Reduction Act’s Clean Vehicle Tax Credit. As a leading voice on the issue, we engaged with the Treasury Department and proposed mechanisms to establish Clean Vehicle Tax Credit compliance. Thanks to our efforts, we were able to increase the effectiveness of the 30D tax credit.

Current onerous regulations and stipulations mean that, as of today, only a handful of vehicles qualify for the 30D Clean Vehicle Tax Credit. In the new year, and for years to come, Autos Drive America will continue working with industry stakeholders, Congress, and regulatory leaders to improve the Inflation Reduction Act and other regulations impacting the domestic auto industry, improving consumer choice and expanding market access for all.