By Manny Manriquez, JAMA USA General Director
The first Japanese-brand auto plant began producing automobiles in the U.S. more than 35 years ago. Since the first of these vehicles rolled off the assembly line, our members have greatly expanded their presence in America. Our most recent economic impact data speaks volumes about this presence: $45.6 billion cumulatively invested in manufacturing facilities, over 90,000 people directly employed in high-quality jobs, over 400,000 car and truck exports from the U.S., and nearly $70 billion in U.S. parts purchased. In 2016 alone, JAMA member companies produced nearly 4 million vehicles and 4.7 million engines. They have also developed cutting-edge technologies right here in America at 43 R&D and design facilities throughout the country.
But our members’ broad impacts go well beyond the manufacturing and R&D numbers. JAMA members take pride in giving back to their local communities all across the country.
In June 2017, Honda mobilized its associates, dealers, and suppliers across North America with their 2nd annual Week of Service. More than 20,000 volunteers conducted over 425 volunteer activities in 43 states, as well as Canada and Mexico, dedicating their time to make a positive impact in their local communities.
Through Mazda’s annual Drive for Good program, which began in 2014, Mazda, its employees, and dealers donate funds and pledge service hours to national and local charities throughout the U.S. To date, Mazda has raised over $15.5 million and pledged more than 260,000 hours of service.
The Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation donated to the American Red Cross of the Heartland in Illinois to support the organization’s Red Cross Home Fire campaign. The Home Fire campaign installs free smoke alarms and provides education on home fire safety.
Nissan has partnered with Habitat for Humanity since 2005 to build homes in communities where Nissan employees live and work. Employees at Nissan’s facilities, including their plants in Tennessee and Mississippi, have logged more than 97,000 volunteer hours building homes.
Subaru recently marked the 10th anniversary of its annual Share the Love event, supporting four national charities (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels America, and the National Park Foundation) and more than 660 hometown charities selected by Subaru retailers across the country.
In 2004, Toyota partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to create Buckle Up For Life, a national passenger safety education program that works in close collaboration with local hospital partners and churches to educate families on critical safety behaviors and provide free child car seats to families in need. The program now operates in 14 cities nationwide.
These are just a few examples of Japanese-brand automobile manufacturers’ community engagement activities, which help define the nature of their commitment to investing in America. Whether engaging in charitable activities, volunteering, or supporting education, our members are always focused on what truly matters: building relationships with their local communities that extend far beyond economic statistics.