Next week, the United States of America will celebrate its 241st year of independence. The Fourth of July inspires patriotism and reflection on what makes our country great. Patriotism takes many forms, from serving in our armed services to public service. For Elio Motors, being an American company is ingrained into our DNA and influences our direction and goals. American innovation is deeply embedded in the American story, and we aspire to continue this tradition by doing our part in revitalizing American manufacturing.
The importance of manufacturing to the United States’ economy cannot be understated. The manufacturing sector of the United States alone makes up the 9th largest economy in the world. Additionally, the manufacturing industry accounts for approximately 9 percent of total employment, is responsible for 62 percent of all national exports, and contributed $2.17 trillion to the economy in 2015. A thriving manufacturing base is vital the health of the US economy.
The automotive industry, in particular, is an integral component of the economy. Approximately 4.5 percent of all American jobs are supported by the automotive industry and the industry contributes 3-3.5 percent of the total gross domestic product. The American automotive industry spends nearly $18 billion a year on research and development alone.
Despite the importance of American manufacturing, the industry has seen a precipitous decline from its peak in June 1979. Since that year, American manufacturing has seen a nearly 40% decline. The automotive industry has also experienced major losses. The U.S. domestic automotive manufacturing market share was 73.7 percent in 1993, however that number shrunk to 42.4 percent in 2013. Despite the industry’s importance, American automakers (Ford in the news most recently) continue to send manufacturing jobs overseas.
These statistics are disquieting, and we believe that the time has come for an American manufacturing revolution. We have been uncompromising in our mission to build a vehicle in the United States, which is why we have chosen to build our vehicle and create manufacturing jobs in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. It is estimated that upwards of 1,500 Americans will be directly employed in Caddo Parish. From there, we estimate that an additional 1,500 jobs will be created through our supply base, as well as Elio Motors sales and service once we are in full production. Further, approximately 18,000 indirect jobs are projected to be created or sustained nationwide.
Our commitment to American manufacturing goes further than creating American jobs. By targeting utilization of 90% North American content in and on our vehicle, we aim to have the most American vehicle on the road.
The same American spirit that endeavored to create an independent nation is alive and well. Founding and establishing a new country took an inordinate amount of grit and perseverance, and these characteristics made our country possible. Our mission is to channel this spirit of American ingenuity, innovation, and perseverance by doing our part in welcoming in a new era of American manufacturing.