TOKYO – Japanese automakers employed a total of 92,710 people in the United States as of 2017, up from 28,571 in 1990 and marking the highest level on record, according to a report by the U.S. office of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
The automakers’ cumulative manufacturing investment in the United States totaled $48.3 billion, up from $6.2 billion, said the report released Tuesday.
The report came as U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized the hefty U.S. trade deficit with Japan and encouraged Japanese businesses to invest in the world’s largest economy.
Of the companies’ U.S.-based auto workers in 2017, 65,526 were employed in manufacturing, 5,759 in research and development, as well as design, and 21,425 in administrative and sales, the report said.
“Our new data affirms Japanese-brand automakers’ extensive and sustained commitment to strengthening the U.S. auto industry and the broader economy,” said Manny Manriquez, general director of JAMA USA.
“In 2017, JAMA members built nearly 3.8 million vehicles and 4.4 million engines in the United States, directly supporting nearly 93,000 jobs across the country in communities like Lafayette, Indiana; Marysville, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; and Smyrna, Tennessee,” Manriquez said in a statement.
The 14 members of JAMA include Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Subaru Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
In the 1980s, JAMA members established automobile and engine manufacturing plants in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Since that time, they have significantly expanded their presence across the United States, operating 24 manufacturing facilities and 44 R&D and design centers in 19 states.
Most recently, Toyota and Mazda Motor Corp. have launched a $1.6 billion joint venture in Huntsville, Alabama, that will create 4,000 jobs. The new plant will begin production in 2021.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their White House meeting on June 7, Trump said, “We welcome and encourage Japanese investors to open new plants and factories in the United States, and that will happen.”
“We want new auto plants going into Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio and many of our states that have them and some that don’t, and they’ll be doing that,” Trump said.