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Today, Japanese automaker production comprises one-third of all cars and trucks built in the United States.
Today, Japanese automaker production comprises one-third of all cars and trucks built in the United States.
( Source: Adobe Stock)

Study The significant role of Japanese automakers in U.S. economy

Editor: Nicole Kareta

A study from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) found that Japanese automakers are a crucial part of not only the U.S. automotive industry but also the country as a whole. Their history in the United States consists of decades of investments in vehicle and major parts production operations across 24 U.S. facilities, as well as 49 research and development (R&D) and design centers in various regions of the country, and dealership networks that span all 50 states.

With USD53.3 billion in direct cumulative manufacturing investment in the United States since the early 1980s, Japanese automakers have continually deepened their commitment to their U.S. presence. Through significant investments in manufacturing, R&D, headquarters, distribution, and other facilities, the presence of these firms has grown to support 1.6 million jobs in the U.S. economy. Today, Japanese automaker production comprises one-third of all cars and trucks built in the United States. Many of the Japanese automakers’ vehicles assembled in the United States have high proportions of U.S.-sourced content, supported by mature supply chains built up over decades in collaboration with other international and U.S.-based automakers and suppliers.

As the industry and world embrace the concept of “future mobility,” automated, connected, electrified, and shared vehicle technology will be the cornerstone of this evolution. Japanese automakers are among the leaders in bringing such technological change to fruition, as these firms make deep investments in innovative R&D efforts in the United States. Such undertakings have led to Japanese automakers accounting for a significant share of U.S. automotive patents filed in fields such as advanced driver assistance systems and electrified vehicle powertrains. Japanese automakers’ U.S. R&D efforts include long-lasting partnerships with U.S. academia, nonprofit organizations, government, technology-based startups, and other automakers.

Japanese automakers have also made significant investments to ensure there is a sustainable pipeline of talent by advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and advanced manufacturing awareness and training initiatives. These firms’ prioritization of workforce development and forward-looking educational initiatives is coupled with a strong performance on workplace safety and a dedication to the inclusivity of employees in problem-solving efforts on the production floor and across the entire enterprise.

“Japanese automakers have become a part of the fabric of the U.S. and North American automotive industry,” said Carla Bailo, CAR’s President and CEO. “The interconnectedness in this industry benefits all of the players and helps support jobs in communities throughout the United States.”

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