A study by the Center For Automotive Research says Toyota Motor Company's steady investment has made a considerable contribution to the U.S. economy. The Ann Arbor-based research firm equated Toyota's $13.4 billion investment created $14.4 billion in additional wages in 2003. Toyota employs over 29,000 workers directly, but their dealer network and suppliers employ 74,060 and 312,000 respectively. As time moves forward, expect similar reports to focus on Honda, Hyundai, and other foreign manufacturers that invest in North American operations. If you look at the flow of investment in the automotive industry, manufacturers are looking for two things: one to set up operations in lucrative or high volumes markets to reduce shipping and import/export related expenses and two, to operate in locales where the labor rates are favorable. Some parts of the U.S. are favorable for foreign manufacturers, just like places like China and Mexico attract U.S. auto manufacturers. While U.S. automakers look to other countries for labor and the inevitable job flight that may follow, it will be foreign manufacturers that step in to fill that void in investment and job creation.

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