From: NRDC
Published August 9, 2012 07:09 AM

U.S. Auto Industry Jobs Up Nearly A Quarter Million Since 2009 - Fuel Efficiency a Key Driver

With the launch of new federal vehicle fuel economy rules only about one week away, the American auto industry has grown by nearly a quarter million jobs (236,600) since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, according to a new report available from DrivingGrowth.org.

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The report from DrivingGrowth.org (http://www.DrivingGrowth.org) finds that fuel efficiency is a major factor behind the gains in U.S. auto jobs. A website that tracks the revitalization of the U.S. auto industry, DrivingGrowth.org is sponsored by three leading U.S. environmental organizations: The Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Manufacturing of motor vehicle and parts has grown by 165,100, or 26.4 percent since June 2009. Another 71,500 jobs have been added at U.S. auto dealerships. Automakers, their suppliers and their dealers are now looking ahead to a brighter future after the dark days of the recession.

Examples of how fuel-efficiency standards are accelerating the auto industry’s recovery in the U.S. include the following:

Michigan -- 35,200 new auto manufacturing jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for half of the state’s total job gains over the same period. In Saginaw, Michigan, for example, automotive supplier has added 650 jobs and will retain an additional 1,000 jobs for production of electric power steering components (EPS) for U.S.-made pickup trucks. EPS, which replaces a more fuel intensive hydraulic system, can boost fuel economy by 4-6percent on a typical vehicle.

Indiana -- 19,800 new auto manufacturing jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for over one third of the state’s total job gains over the same period. In Greensburg, Indiana, Honda is investing $40 million and will hire 300 new workers as its Indiana facility becomes the sole global producer of the fuel-efficient Honda Civic hybrid. It will be exported to markets around the world from Indiana.

Ohio -- 11,300 new auto jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for one quarter of the state's total job gains over the same period. In Warren, Ohio, General Motors is running three shifts at its Lordstown Assembly plant, adding 1,200 jobs and employing 4,200 total workers to produce the high-mileage Chevy Cruze, which achieves 42 miles per gallon (MPG) in the EcoCruze model.

"Setting strong fuel efficiency standards means we are sending more of our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East" said Tiffany Ingram, Midwest advocacy director for NRDC.  "Global automakers are now sourcing their most advanced, high-tech manufacturing here in the United States, creating a more sustainable and secure future for U.S. industry and U.S. workers."

Chevy Volt photo via Shutterstock.

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