Published On: Thu, Apr 20th, 2017

The Truth About Auto Manufacturing

At times, car manufacturing may just seem like a huge mystery. With so many companies making so many kinds of parts, eventually it’s easier to just sign and drive than it is to ask questions. Sometimes people need to see a news story before they start paying attention, sometimes they need to know someone personally who lost their job. Other times they need a politician to quote the facts in the larger context of what’s happening to our country and to the world. Regardless of what you know (or think you know) about auto manufacturing, it’s worth finding out more about the truth.

Follow the Money

Unfortunately, if you really want to get to the heart of the truth when it comes to business, it’s normally about following the money. It’s why regulations have hurt auto manufacturing in first world countries. Every time a new restriction pops up about labor or working conditions, companies often trip over themselves trying to find ways to outsource production and discover how much does defensive driving save you. It’s not their concern how people make a living after the labor is outsourced, no more so than it was computer companies’ jobs to find typewriter makers work after they were put out of business. But eventually, take too many people out of factories in too many towns and there will be consequences.

Are Tides Turning?

Part of the consequences of leaving certain parts of the country without work was seen in the last political cycle, as the whole country became divided between very different sets of values. While Trump made plenty of promises about expensive tariffs for imported goods, he’s continued to learn more about what it really means to get involved with auto manufacturing. Some are speculating that the factories he was hoping were going to be built in the near future likely won’t materialize. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be more jobs offered based on new investments in already existing factories, such as Ford’s $1.2 billion in Michigan factories. Sales right now in the US don’t necessarily have anywhere to go though, since they already look to be at the top. With new plants costing hundreds of millions of dollars to build, it’s unlikely American factories will open when there may not be demand for the products they’re making.

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

What’s Next

It’s not that no one is interested in opening plants here, though you may be surprised at the companies who are interested. Volvo is spending $500 million in South Carolina on a new assembly plant, and Hyundai and Kia could potentially open something soon in America too. Their investment here will certainly be felt by the towns where they open shop — even if it is from foreign car companies. Over the past 12 years, Hyundai and Kia have opened plants putting more than 3,000 people to work a piece in Georgia and Alabama. Ford famously canceled their plans to move business to Mexico earlier this year too. Car makers now are trying to decide where to put their time and money based on the potential policy changes ahead. Between the recession and the unrest in Washington and their own hometowns, auto makers are likely to be more cautious than bold though.

Having a clear idea of how your car was made allows you to make better choices about where and what you buy. Regardless of how you feel though, practicing your defensive driving is always the right choice to stay safe. A traffic school course can help you make smarter decisions on the road while giving you more confidence in particularly challenging situations.

Author: Anwar Hossain

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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