By Manny Manriquez, JAMA USA General Director
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans will begin to reflect on and give thanks for the many blessings in their lives, sharing their time and a meal with their families, friends and broader communities. At JAMA, we believe it is important to give thanks for the long-lasting relationships between our member companies and the American people, communities, and institutions that enable us all to thrive together, strengthening the U.S. auto industry and wider economy.
For the past 36 years, Japanese-brand automakers have consistently and increasingly invested in U.S. manufacturing and the American workforce. Since the first JAMA member manufacturing facility opened in the early 1980s, our members have invested $48.3 billion in U.S. manufacturing, establishing 24 auto plants and 44 R&D/design centers in 19 states.
This growth and success are made possible by the support of American communities throughout the country.
In 2017, our members set a record for direct U.S. jobs, surpassing 92,000 employees. In partnership with these American workers, our members have increased their U.S. vehicle production tenfold since the mid-1980s. This is also the cumulative effect of a competitive, robust auto industry in which our members generate hundreds of thousands of intermediate (suppliers, logistics, services, etc.) and spin-off jobs across numerous industries, while at the same time providing more than 350,000 dealership jobs. This is a tangible impact that goes beyond our members’ manufacturing, R&D, and design facilities – one that can be felt in virtually every community across the United States.
The forthcoming $1.6 billion Toyota-Mazda joint venture, set to begin production in Huntsville, Alabama by 2021, is proof positive of JAMA members’ continued commitment to the U.S. workforce and auto industry. This investment will provide up to 4,000 direct jobs and support thousands more in supplier, logistics, and spin-off employment.
These numbers are a testament not only to our members’ commitment to America, but also to the talent of the U.S. workforce and the vitality of the surrounding communities. Through our investments in advanced automotive technologies and production, our members are actively strengthening the U.S. economy for generations to come. Our members remain proud to contribute to the competitiveness and growth of the U.S. auto industry together with Americans across the country.
So, from JAMA, to all those hardworking Americans, vibrant communities, and loyal customers that have welcomed our members into their lives, thank you.