Surprising Japanese Exports: American Jobs

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The fact that GM creates 6,000 jobs in China and will invest $11 billion in China until 2016 (and $16 billion in America) gets all the headlines. What falls under the table is the fact that someone else invests $76 billion each year straight into more than a million Americans. It’s the Japanese auto industry.

Jobs From Japanese TransplantsManufacturing57,939R&D4,196Distributors18,899Spin-off production325,000Dealerships327,477Spin-off dealer339,000TOTAL1,072,511Annual compensation$76,000,000,000Source: JAMA

Japanese-branded automobile plants account for nearly 40 percent of all U.S. automobile production. What’s more, Japanese automakers are a major driver of exports – from America to the world. Honda estimates it will become a “net exporter” of automobiles from North America by 2014. Toyota expects to export more vehicles from North American plants than the Detroit 3 automakers, and foresees a future where all Toyota cars sold in U.S .may eventually be built here.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Da Coyote Da Coyote on May 28, 2013

    That picture of one of "N" reasons (where N is a very large number) that I will NEVER own a car built by the GM Toads. I made that mistake far too many times and was rewarded the the only cars on the road with less reliability than my "highly regarded" German roadside blockers. It's Japanese only, baby.

    • See 5 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 29, 2013

      @billfrombuckhead Bail out Kia, not Hyundai (tho Kia's bailout was also with private $$ from Hyundai). Also, the Japanese govt. pretty much subsidized investment of hybrids.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on May 28, 2013

    Our union made GMC Sierra(Flint, MI) and Chevrolet Tahoe(Janesville, WI) have blown both the Toyotas we have owned out of the water when it comes to reliability and initial quality. Anecdotal yes, but when it comes to fullsize PU trucks and SUVs I like GM stuff better than anything offered by the imports. The fact that they are more reliable and/or engineered better is just icing on the cake.

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    • DenverMike DenverMike on May 30, 2013

      @Niky - No doubt, I can get 30 hwy MPG in some V8 1/2 tons, under the right conditions. But aren't we talking EPA MPG? And there's no doubt any US spec mid-size or 1/2 ton can exceed its capacity rating by 100% with no problem, in the short run. Never mind safety, but we're talking about a part of the world that lacks an entire class of full-size pickups. If their mid-size were capped by our SAE ratings, they would be forced into to MDTs or van cutoffs that much sooner. Of course they're not as litigious as we are. OEMs here tend to error on the side of caution. Ask Toyota where most of their lawsuits come from. It's not just up to marketing teams. The global Ranger would need to be 'built' to outclass the F-150. There's nothing that really implies that it is.

  • Jim brewer Jim brewer on May 28, 2013

    U.S. exports are at an all-time high. Higher even than before the bust. Its one of the few bright spots in the economy, and one of the reasons we are doing better than the Euros. exports/imports are not a ledger book add and subtract analysis.

  • 95_SC 95_SC on May 28, 2013 were I to roll up in the Husky Mine Detection Vehicle that I operated in Baghdad and several of my friends are currently rocking in Kandahar I couldn't park it here since it is assembled in South Africa and sported a Benz power plant? How Patriotic.