Made in the USA Series: The U.S. auto industry gets a well-earned nod during the Super Bowl

It has been a tumultuous 4 years in the automotive industry. The bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler as well as the near bankruptcy of Ford Motor Company shook Detroit to it’s core. Stock prices plummeted as we watched what appeared to be the end of Detroit’s influence in the industry. It was a roller coaster ride. But, that was then. This is now.

Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. It seems that everyone watched the game. Even people who don’t care about football watch the ads. I loved the Volkswagen ad focused on a dog’s motivation to become physically fit, and was bemused by Chevrolet’s spoof of the Mayan calendar’s 2012 doomsday predictions. But it was Clint Eastwood, in Chrysler’s ad, “Halftime in America,” that inspired us to envision a new era of national rebirth.

Released before the Super Bowl was Chrysler’s new advertising campaign, “Imported From Detroit.” The message of the ads is that we don’t “have to cross an ocean to obtain luxury.” But is this message accurate? We did some checking and found that there seems to be a rebirth of the U.S. automobile industry. In addition to manufacturing plants throughout the world, foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers have significant operations in the U.S. Here are just some of the companies with manufacturing and/or assembly operations in the United States—

Domestic Companies 

Ford Motor Company—Ford, Lincoln and Mercury in Michigan; Missouri; Illinois, Kentucky; and Minnesota.

General Motors–Buick in Michigan; Cadillac in Michigan and Texas; Chevrolet in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Louisiana.

Chrysler—Chryslers in Michigan; Dodge in Michigan and Ohio; and Jeep in Detroit, Ohio and Illinois. Chrysler announced on February 3, 2012, that it will add 1,800 jobs at its plant in Belvidere, Illinois, where it assembles the Dodge Dart, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass.

Foreign Companies 

Honda—Ohio, Indiana and Alabama.

Mercedes Benz—Alabama.

BMW—South Carolina.



Suzuki—Georgia and Tennessee.

Volkswagen—Tennessee. Its new plant in Tennessee employs 2000 workers and was recently recognized for its commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing.

There is a lot to celebrate for the U.S. economy in the revitalization of this industry. We had a rough “first half” in our economy, but we are rebuilding. The economy is growing. And we are going to have a much better “second half.”


2 responses to “Made in the USA Series: The U.S. auto industry gets a well-earned nod during the Super Bowl

  1. Good comments. In addition to foreign companies mentioned Kia and Hyundai are coming on strong in south Carolina and Georgia I believe.

  2. we talked about this ad in the class I”m teaching today, mostly addressing the way it links manufacturing to family (and also to manhood). i think it’s a really well done ad–and, unlike Karl Rove, it seemed to me to very successfully straddle political divides. I had Facebook friends with very different political opinions praising it.

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