Polls Shows Americans Approve Of Japanese Auto Alliances

A recent poll found that 71% of Americans agree that joint international ventures and mutual investments between American and Japanese automakers are good for the U.S. economy, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn. Inc. (JAMA). "Clearly most Americans are aware of the substantial benefits brought by the globalization of the U.S. automobile industry. These benefits include capital investment, higher employment, and above all the healthy competition that provides consumers with quality vehicles at reasonable prices," says William C. Duncan, general director, JAMA USA. The survey is included in the new JAMA publication "Japan's Auto Companies at the Dawn of a New Era: Part of the Fabric of America." The publication explores the investment stakes and production relationships in the global auto industry including those involving DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. Over the last two decades, as manufacturers increasingly invest and produce in foreign markets, there has developed such a wide range of inter-relationships among the world's automakers that it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell by brand name what is an American, Japanese, or European car. In fact, 66% of Americans surveyed agreed that a car made in America by Americans is a U.S. product regardless of make of car. In addition, 73% agreed that global competition in the auto industry has led U.S. automakers to produce cars and trucks of higher quality. The survey of 1,000 was conducted by International Communications Research for JAMA in September 2000. The brochure also highlights:

  • More than 286,000 Americans were employed in 1999 by Japanese-affiliated automakers and their dealers.
  • Japanese automakers cumulatively invested $16.5 billion in their U.S. auto plants and auto-parts-manufacturing operations.
  • Japanese production in the U.S. totaled more than 2.4 million vehicles and nearly 2 million engines in 1999. The locally built vehicles, from nine U.S. plants, accounted for 64% of total U.S. sales. 1999 imports from Japan were at 1.5 million -- in 1986 imports were 3.4 million.
  • Purchases of U.S.-made auto parts by Japanese automakers reached almost $32 billion in fiscal 1999.
  • In 1999 Japanese manufacturers' affiliates in the U.S. exported 128,000 American-built cars and trucks to countries around the world. The publication is available at www.jama.org or by contacting the JAMA News Bureau at 202/452-1670.
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