Consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles and a federal mandate to reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 has helped bring back 236,000 badly-needed U.S. auto industry jobs since 2009, says a report issued by DrivingGrowth. A portion of this growth – 66,300 new jobs – occurred in the Midwest in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, along with new jobs in 500 facilities in 43 states that manufacture components and technology that contribute to fuel economy improvements. DrivingGrowth is a project backed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the League of Conservation Voters. The numbers don't include the million-plus jobs stabilized by the federally-orchestrated and funded post-bankruptcy bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler.

Creating green jobs in the U.S. amidst the troubled, changing global economy has been a strong message from the Obama administration since 2009, but this year it hasn't been mentioned as often. Still, Mitt Romney is criticizing federal involvement in green jobs.

Fuel efficiency has become a mainstay concern for U.S. car shoppers, whether they are considering crossovers, SUVs or pickups. For July 2012 U.S. light vehicle sales, fuel efficiency and interior roominess were important to the sales leaders, according to analysts. In the DrivingGrowth job report, the environmental benefits of seeing more fuel efficient vehicles hit the roads are not as heavily emphasized as job creation. For consumer groups such as Consumer Federation of America (CFA), monetary savings based on lifecycle ownership costs are appealing to consumers who support the federal mandates. For both DrivingGrowth and CFA, influencing the soon-to-be released final mandates on the 54.5 fuel economy standards seems to be the primary reason for issuing their reports.

Federal fuel economy mandates seem to be the most effective, realistic tactic for stakeholders to come together and agree on a method to reach collective goals. Whether you're talking to automakers, unions, government agencies, consumers or environmental groups – or analyzing light-duty passenger vehicles or medium- to heavy-duty commercial vehicles – reaching corporate average fuel economy goals is the benchmark, and the environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse gas and carbon emissions goes right along with it. Job creation is icing on the cake for a nation going through its deepest economic crisis and transition since the Great Depression.
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Study: Higher mpg requirements mean more jobs
Driven by Fuel Efficiency, U.S. Auto Industry Jobs Up Nearly A Quarter Million Since 2009


New Final Federal Fuel Economy Rules for 54.5 MPG Expected in Mid-August; Highlighting MI, IN, and OH Employment Impacts, Report Available at New DrivingGrowth.org Website.

Detroit – August 8, 2012 - With the launch of new federal vehicle fuel economy rules only about one week away, the American auto industry has grown by nearly a quarter million jobs (236,600) since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, according to a new report available from DrivingGrowth.org.

The report from DrivingGrowth.org (http://www.DrivingGrowth.org) finds that fuel efficiency is a major factor behind the gains in U.S. auto jobs. A website that tracks the revitalization of the U.S. auto industry, DrivingGrowth.org is sponsored by three leading U.S. environmental organizations: The Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Manufacturing of motor vehicle and parts has grown by 165,100, or 26.4 percent since June 2009. Another 71,500 jobs have been added at U.S. auto dealerships. Automakers, their suppliers and their dealers are now looking ahead to a brighter future after the dark days of the recession.

Examples of how fuel-efficiency standards are accelerating the auto industry's recovery in the U.S. include the following:
  • Michigan -- 35,200 new auto manufacturing jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for half of the state's total job gains over the same period. In Saginaw, Michigan, for example, automotive supplier has added 650 jobs and will retain an additional 1,000 jobs for production of electric power steering components (EPS) for U.S.-made pickup trucks. EPS, which replaces a more fuel intensive hydraulic system, can boost fuel economy by 4-6 percent on a typical vehicle.
  • Indiana -- 19,800 new auto manufacturing jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for over one third of the state's total job gains over the same period. In Greensburg, Indiana, Honda is investing $40 million and will hire 300 new workers as its Indiana facility becomes the sole global producer of the fuel-efficient Honda Civic hybrid. It will be exported to markets around the world from Indiana.
  • Ohio -- 11,300 new auto jobs since June 2009 when the auto industry hit bottom, accounting for one quarter of the state's total job gains over the same period. In Warren, Ohio, General Motors is running three shifts at its Lordstown Assembly plant, adding 1,200 jobs and employing 4,200 total workers to produce the high-mileage Chevy Cruze, which achieves 42 miles per gallon (MPG) in the EcoCruze model.
"Setting strong fuel efficiency standards means we are sending more of our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East" said Tiffany Ingram, Midwest advocacy director for NRDC. "Global automakers are now sourcing their most advanced, high-tech manufacturing here in the United States, creating a more sustainable and secure future for U.S. industry and U.S. workers."

"People in Ohio want clean air and clean water – and we can have both by bringing clean car manufacturing jobs to," said Frank Szollosi, federal policy associate for the NWF's Great Lakes Regional Center. "And it's happening. 11,300 auto jobs have come back to Ohio since the industry hit bottom. Ford's Eco-Boost engine, which is key to the company's fuel efficiency strategy, is made in Ohio. And companies like Parker Hannafin are adding jobs in Columbus to build fuel-saving components for hybrid heavy trucks."

"Thanks in large part to a renewed focus on fuel efficiency, 35,000 more Michigan auto workers are back to work," said Ryan Werder, campaigns director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. "Michigan is once again on the forefront of the global auto industry, showing us how clean technology, revitalized economy, and a cleaner environment all go hand-in-hand."

Part of the brighter U.S. industry future is due to manufacturers investing in innovative technologies to prepare their vehicle fleets for increased fuel efficiency standards. Model year 2012 is the first year of a long-term federal program that requires a sales-weighted average of the equivalent of 35.5 MPG by 2016.

In 2011, the Obama administration announced plans for additional draft fuel economy and emissions standards that will raise new passenger vehicle fuel efficiency levels to the equivalent of 54.5 MPG by model year 2025. The process of setting new fuel economy standards began in 2007, when Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed a new energy law.

The new rules, expected to become final later this month, cover both fuel economy and emissions and are a continuation of the carbon pollution and fuel-efficiency standard program that currently goes to 35.5 MPG by 2016. Thirteen global automakers, including Ford, GM and Chrysler, as well as the United Auto Workers (UAW) are on record in support of the new rules.

According to the new DrivingGrowth.org report, current trends show that higher fuel efficiency standards are already working:
  • The first half of 2012 set the record for the highest-ever fuel efficiency for new passenger vehicles at 23.8 MPG, up 1.1 MPG from the same period from 2011.
  • The projected new auto sales figure for 2012 is 14.1 million units, up a strong 1.4 million vehicles over 2011.
  • There are now significantly more fuel-efficient vehicle choices of all sizes for consumers. The number of high fuel efficiency, high volume vehicle models has more than doubled since 2009, from 28 to 60, according to an analysis by auto industry forecasters Baum and Associates. These include fuel-efficient models of small cars, midsize cars, and crossovers (CUVs).
DrivingGrowth.org currently features video interviews with engineers and product executives from BorgWarner's Powertrain Technical Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, which is also home to the company's global headquarters. At the Technical Center, BorgWarner develops turbochargers, dual clutch transmissions, variable valve timing and other fuel-saving and emission reduction technologies. The company has added more than 6,000 jobs worldwide in the past two years.

Additional interviews from other auto manufacturing and supplier companies will be added in the next few weeks. The new DrivingGrowth.org website also includes an archive of news stories related to fuel efficiency and lower auto emissions; data on automotive job growth, infographics describing the consumer, environmental and economic benefits of fuel economy and emissions standards, a catalog of research studies and reports, and blogs by environmental and industry insiders.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      lad: Oil-party Republicans? According to Obama's official website: "4 X: Factor by which the number of oil rigs operating in the United States has gone up under President Obama's administration" http://www.barackobama.com/news/entry/friday-facts-reducing-our-dependence-on-foreign-oil/ If Bush is an evil Texas oil man, then Obama is 4 times the evil Texas oil man. Or is it okay when Obama does it? The reasoning given on the website is to reduce our dependance on foreign oil. In short, drill baby drill.
      Guido
      • 2 Years Ago
      The consumer will pay the bill. Lower mpg cars will cost a lot more, so the money is going to big oil or big car companies. And about the democrats and republicans, good luck if you really think either cares, they just want your vote and that's it.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Guido
        Good Luck in Delusion World. Only one party is happy shipping jobs to China, if you can't figure out which one, do yourself a favor and don't vote.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Romney's Presidency is a CONFLICT of INTEREST. Bain Capital is a major exporter of US Jobs. Romney doesn't want US Competition to his Chinese Jobs.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Spammer. Bain created tens of thousands of NET jobs. Even the most talented batter can't hit every strike; even the most talented doctor can't save every paient, even the most talented investor will pick a dud now and then. Some businesses Bain invested in went belly up. But overall, net, Bain created enormous numbers of jobs. What do YOU think should have happened to money losing businesses? Be forced to stay open longer, simply to give their employees fake, make-work, welfare jobs, burning through the money of trapped iinvestors? How will that make future investors more willing to open new businesses, or more willing to take a chance on a troubled business? In the long run, you'd cause far more job losses, and far more uncreated jobs, by such ignorant destructive demagoguery.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          Carney The left doesn't understand adding value, and also thinks that the economy is a zero sum game. Menace, if one person makes money, they are taking it away from another person. You have to understand the mentality. A person on the left may say, 'I have never made a profit in my life' and say it proudly. They don't realize that they ae also saying, 'I have never added value to anything in my life' or 'I have never done anything that produced a good or service anyone ever wanted in my life. Then when they start to realize that they might not have any value themselves, someone tells them it isn't their fault, those who are successful 'didn't build that' and that if we if they vote for looters, the looters will take away, from the producers, to give to them, the mooches. Never underestimate envy, greed (taking from those who produce while contributing nothing themselves), and the salve of a person who says it isn't your fault you are in the sad state you are in. Not your fault you are fat. Drink. Smoke. Lazy. Bought a giant car you cannot afford to put gas in the tank for. It's this rich guys fault. The guy who worked 17 hours a day building his business, making right decisions. It's his fault. He will help you feed the kids you had with different women. He took it all away from you anyway.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Here is a short list of companies Bain Capital has worked with: Accellent HD Supply Air Medical Group Holdings Hero Investments AMC Entertainment Himadri Applied Systems Ideal Standard ASIMCO IMCD Bellsystem24 International Market Centers Bloomin' Brands JinSheng International Bombardier Recreational Products Lilliput Kidswear Brakes Group MEI Group Brenntag Michaels Bright Horizons MYOB Broder Bros., Co. NXP Burlington Coat Factory Physio Control Cerved Quintiles China Fire and Security Group, Inc. Securitas Direct Clear Channel Communications Sensata Technologies Contec Sinomedia Holding Limited CRC Health Group SkillSoft Cumulus Media Skylark D&M Holdings SquareTrade Domino's Pizza Japan SUNAC Dunkin' Brands SunGard Edcon Suntel EPOCH Holdings TeamSystem FCI The Weather Channel FleetCor Toys "R" Us GA PACK Trinseo GOME Unisource Guitar Center Uniview Gymboree Warner Chilcott Gymboree China WorldPay HCA Now, of course, you might be bored reading, so I will point out Staples, Sports Authority, Dunkin Doughnuts, Gymboree (they work with children - why do you hate children?)' , guitar center, the weather channel... Now...if all you can do is read left wing hate propaganda, that's fine. However, all you end up being is a puppet who gets enraged at anything your party tells you to get enraged at. I however, prefer not to be a puppet.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      So do you recommend hydrogen, ethanol or natural gas ? Me irecommend hydrogen and also natural gas for current cars.
      carney373
      • 2 Years Ago
      Increased fuel economy is useless and irrelevant, a giant distraction from the extremely urgent goal of breaking free from oil. From 1976 to 1990, our national fleet average MPG went from 13 to 20, a whopping increase, yet in that same time our gasoline consumption went from 89 billion gallons a year to 103 billion. Even if it DID reduce consumption, so what? On the enviornmental front, you're still adding new net carbon dioxide to the system rather than (as with biofuels) recycling current CO2 or (as with solar and wind powered EVs) adding basically none at all. On the economic and national security fronts, OPEC can easily respond to reduced consumption by cutting back on its own production, to increase per-unit prices high enough to keep its revenue stream intact at our expense despite reduced sales volume. I can't over-emphasize how crucial this reality is. OPEC can ensure that even if we all trade in our gasoline-only Hummers for gasoline-only, non-plug-in Priuses, we'll still spend, say $100 per fuel tank depsite needing to buy much less fuel per fill-up. Thus the economic damage oil causes remains in place, completely unaddressed, and a huge portion of the wealth we transfer to the world's worst governments via our local gasoline pump gets turned around and spent on spreading pro-terrorist extremism or even waging outright war against us. THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THE OIL TRAP IS TO BREAK FREE FROM OIL. NOT TO USE LESS OIL IN A CAR THAT IS STILL TRAPPED INTO ONLY BEING ABLE TO USE OIL. Remaining a helpless captive market of the sinister, planet-fouling, economy-crashing, terror-funding oil cartel is stupid. Smugly congratulating yourself as if you had accomplished something, while still remaning a helpless captive market, forced to pay whatever price that cartel demands, is S-T-U-P-I-D.
        Turbo Froggy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        I agree 100%. +1000....
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Rather than money spent per fill-up, I should have said money spent on fuel per month or per year.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          I recommend that all new gasoline cars sold in America be fully flex fueled, able to run equally easily on ANY alcohol fuel -- ethanol, but also methanol with an M as well as other alcohols such as proponal and butanol, as called for in the proposed Open Fuel Standards Act. I also recommend that diesel vehicles be intended, engineered, warranted, and approved by insurers and regulators to also be able to run on something other than petroleum diesel, such as biodiesel, straight vegetable oil, or, especially, di-methyl ether (DME) diesel. Secondly, to play an assistive or supplementary role, I support pure battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids that can at least, like the Volt, take care of everyday local driving on electric power, and which are not limited to petroleum derived fuel for their internal combustion engine components. Running a distant third and fourth for me are methanol-oxygen fuel cell cars, and external combustion engine (steam) cars, but both seem to need a lot of work before they are ready for prime time. I am strongly opposed to hydrogen, either when used in a fuel cell, or in an internal combustion engine. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax
          lad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          By now enough of us know that the future of transportation is the battery/electric drive train. Even GM has acknowledged that with the Volt. And Nissan is "All In." What you have now is movement by the Oil Party Republicans at the Federal level to help protect the money paid to them by Big Oil. Indeed, you also have some of the mid-western states also doing the same under Republican governors. Several states, like California, are out on their own to advance BEVs and bypassing our corrupt Congress. I believe the ICE is dead as is coal to create electricity. It is far more economical to build new gas-fired utility plants or retrofit old coal plants with NatGas than to clean up coal stacks with scrubbers and pay for the damaging ash piles. The new CAFE standards are a necessary part of the plan to help the auto companies move in the right direction because they never would spend the money to lighten their cars, aero them and downsize the engines without these requirements; and, these are necessary steps prior to building BEVs. I believe there is only one problem to solve and the BEV industry will explode: Building a low-cost proper battery to meet the needs of the American driver. We are not there yet; but, give it two years and it will be. You know you are there when Exxon starts investing in batteries.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          On natural gas, I would prefer to see it used, rather than directly as a fuel, but rather as a source material for methanol in light-duty cars, and di-methyl ether in heavy duty cars. Or as an energy source in power plants to charge electric cars.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Buying a Volt does break free from oil
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Buying a pure EV breaks free from oil. Any plug-in hybrid still has a gas tank. As long as you don't have to figure out how to live totally without gas, you have not broken free.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Completely ignoring Climate Change while we're in a 500 year drought, caused by man, that's rich. Solar Panels are getting cheaper the coal, and will be the cheapest fuel source in 8 years. Wasting money on any other solution makes you the Wall Street Sucker, so they can sell out of Natural Gas.
          carney373
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Solar costs 50 cents per kilowatt, by far and away the most expensive power source. Everything else is between 2 cents (hydro-electric) and 7 cents (wind).
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good Heavens, Carney is alive ! Carney, welcome back from your self imposed exile. I never quite know what your posts will support, on the one hand you seem to be a conservative, supporting a fairly right wing aspect of the political spectrum, next you clothe yourself in the flag of the crazies, ranters, and conspiracy theorists of extreme environmentalism Your post's always unleash a torrent of rant's from supporters and detractors alike. You are a catalyst ! (Like an old fashioned revivalist conducting a torchlight meeting. ) (Poor old Ezee, he must feel he's been lured to such a meeting on the false expectation that young females or 'refreshments' might be available ! 'Driving Growth' , is a pretty harmless moderate left organization. Not terribly objective, or impartial, but on the whole pretty inoffensive. Most of what they publish is of some interest. Much as I have always enjoyed you posts, (except when you resort to capitals), you do seem to swing between two erroneous, and extremist, positions. 1) On the one hand, in the most strident terms call for the immediate abolition of the oil industry. 2) On the other, you demand an immediate conversion to technologies that as yet don't exist ! (if ever). You support these astonishing ambitions without any realistic evidence, but based on the ravings of the worst kind of conspiracy theorist. I would also like everyone to join me in buying an EV. But, I have to be realistic, it's not going to happen overnight. There are something like 4 billion engines on the planet that run on an oil product. The Oil Industry provides raw materials for nearly all modern products from medicine to fertilizer. It's the basis of the worlds economy, it's not going to disappear overnight, by the rantings of a few extremists. OPEC doesn't run the US Oil industry. Nor is terrorism funded by Oil money. The largest supplier of Oil to the US is Canada ! (so far as I know, Canada seems peaceful). These sorts of belief's are not held by any rational person. As far as conversion to other technologies, most simply can't be scaled up to any sort of reality. But every little helps. I believe it's far more productive, to prioritize and accomplish something positive. Something that can be expanded in time to achieve real progress, rather than rant like Chicken Little, fight imaginary foes, and in the end accomplish nothing ! It takes a long, slow, and patient process to persuade the bulk of people to adapt to new technology, the development of that new technology can be frustratingly elusive. But it's important to take the first steps. (and not frighten the herd !). So why not prioritize, find one aspect that you think can really attract support and make a real difference and direct your considerable talents to achieving a realizable goal ?
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