Almost two million! Never before in one year has the United States exported so many vehicles around the world. But, in 2014, they will do so according to the Detroit News. More impressively, the big three of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Chrysler Group LLC account for more than half of those vehicles. The rest come from plants in the U.S. owned by foreign OEMs.
Put into perspective, automotive vehicles account for $27 billion more in exports than the next highest manufacturing sector, aerospace. While there is still a substantial trade gap – more than $100 billion – it is shrinking. And, while many of the exports are to Canada and Mexico, the share within North America has dropped to below 50% for the first time, and continues to fall.
While China continues to be a large growing market – 1 in 9 vehicle exports end up in China – other developing markets continue to grow. The same factors that have led to an expected binge in manufacturing locally in the U.S. could negatively impact export growth as manufacturers consider building plants in locations like Brazil, Russia, India and China. However, those plants are not yet constructed and account for only some of the export growth. Notably not on the list of potential plant locations is anywhere in Africa.