CEO Column

Jennifer Safavian | Autos Drive America’s Annual Economic Impact Report Outlines Essential Contributions from International Automakers

Jennifer Safavian
July 29, 2022

Each year, Autos Drive America looks forward to releasing an economic impact report, highlighting the impact international manufacturers and dealers have on the American economy. Despite a year of unprecedented challenges for automakers, our economic impact report found that international automakers and nameplate dealers continued to drive the American auto industry forward, just like they have for the last 60 years.

This year’s report confirms what we already knew—that international automakers make up the fabric of America. Our members and nameplate dealers increased their total investments in America to over $100 billion last year, and currently employ more than 140,000 direct U.S. employees. While other companies were reducing outputs and operations, international automakers were investing heavily in expanding exciting, high-tech career opportunities for new and existing workers. They opened state-of-the-art training facilities, announced new programs to train and upskill workers, and built new relationships with schools across the country to create a pathway for STEM students to drive their future in modern manufacturing.

Building, maintaining, and growing the American manufacturing workforce is essential to bolstering American communities and economies. A total of $162 billion in employee compensation helped workers grow their families, buy homes, send their children to college, and develop their communities. But these employees and workforce investments also helped the international auto industry continue to meet consumer demand. International automakers last year produced 4.2 million vehicles and made up 47% of all U.S. vehicle production, both increasing from 2020. In fact, international auto brands are the top-selling vehicles in 37 states. Autos Drive America member companies also increased the export of their American-made vehicles around the world, proving that international automakers’ workers continue doing their part to bolster and grow the American economy.

Another area in which international automakers lead is driving a more sustainable future. As demand for electric vehicles grows, our members are working to create, manufacture, and sell the highest quality green vehicles. Seven U.S. states currently manufacture green vehicles or batteries, and over the next few years, three more facilities will begin production. Because of these investments, international automakers were able to get nearly 1.1 million new green vehicles into the garages of American consumers last year.

As the President and CEO of Autos Drive America, I get to see these essential contributions from international auto manufacturers in action in the U.S. every single day. But we compile this report so that the world can see what we see—that international automakers and dealers are deeply invested in the success of the U.S. auto industry and its workers. With announcements from our members on new assembly lines, research and development facilities, and innovative green vehicles and technology every week, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for international automakers and dealers in the U.S.

Read the full Economic Impact Report and learn more about the impact of international automakers and dealers in your state: