By Dawn Kent Azok
July 31, 2015

Japanese automakers’ U.S. operations reached record highs last year, as production and exports climbed, along with other benchmarks.

The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association this week released new data on the companies’ contributions to the U.S. economy.

Among the highlights: 74 percent of Japanese-brand vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in North America, up from 71 percent in 2013.

Additionally, JAMA members hit record output levels last year, producing 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. and exporting 472,000 of them. They also produced 4.3 million engines in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Japanese purchases of U.S. automotive parts climbed to nearly $66 billion.

Alabama’s auto industry plays a role in the data. The state is home to a Honda auto assembly plant in Talladega County and a Toyota engine plant in Huntsville. Both have local supplier networks.

Mark Jackson, CEO of Birmingham teleconferencing provider Moreson Conferencing and Alabama’s honorary consul general of Japan, said the U.S. and Japan have successfully rebuilt their relationships over the past 70 years, and the automotive industry is one of the sectors that proves it.

“Alabama is home to some of Japan’s largest investments, Honda and Toyota being just two of the 71 Japanese owned companies in our state. Their products set the bar for quality, affordability and endurance,” he said.

The latest JAMA data follows a similar release last month, which showed growing investment and employment at the companies’ U.S. operations.

Source: Al.com

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