In less than a decade, the number of auto company workers employed by companies other than the Big 3 has risen from 25 to 39 percent. But by 2017 that number could rise to 50 percent.
A report by Automotive News outlines the post-recession rise in American auto manufacturing driven by Asian and European auto makers
Overall, carmaker employment in North America is down by 104,524 jobs since 2005. Yet Asian and European companies added 28,654 jobs during that stretch as they built plants, installed r&d centers and put in other facilities in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Nondomestic automakers have opened seven assembly plants in North America in the eight-year-span, while the Detroit 3 closed 21.
The key growth factor here is not so much the strength of weakness of Detroit, but the desire of auto makers like Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen to localize production in the United States as a means of protecting themselves from currency fluctuations or, in the case of the Japanese auto makers, unforeseen disruptions to their supply chain like the 2011 tsunami. As John Casesa of Guggenhein Partners tells it
“The economic reality of the auto business is that it is most efficient to produce cars in the markets where they are sold, and that is what has drawn all these automakers to the U.S.”