Posts Tagged ‘automobiles’


Driving German FDI – the U.S. as a Manufacturing & Distribution Hub, and an Export Platform

April 24, 2014

Amy Zecha is an International Investment Specialist with SelectUSA. Her portfolio covers Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock totaled $2.7 trillion in 2012, a 6 percent increase from the prior year, which equals the average annual growth rate between 2001-2011.

SelectUSA just finished another successful event at the Hannover Messe manufacturing trade fair – the largest in the world – and now we’re gearing up for another big event in Germany. In September, we’ll be participating in Automechanika, a global trade show for the automotive industry. We hope you’ll join us!

It’s been a great couple of months for German investment in the United States, and we’ve had some exciting news in the auto industry. In a post last month, ITA’s Tradeology blog highlighted some impressive figures – including the 115% growth in U.S. auto exports of passenger vehicles between 2009 and 2013.

It is therefore no surprise to see international automakers – such as Germany’s BMW – continue to grow their U.S. manufacturing operations. At the end of March, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined BMW officials and others in Spartanburg, SC in celebrating the start of production of the X4 – and the announcement of the brand new X7. The addition of this model line will make Spartanburg BMW’s largest manufacturing facility in the world.

BMW, as a business, knows the value of manufacturing in the United States, and also the advantages of using the U.S. as an export platform. Today, BMW is one of the top auto exporters in the United States. More than half of all the cars produced by BMW at their Spartanburg plant are shipped to other markets beyond our borders. BMW has clearly harnessed the power of U.S. manufacturing and successfully coupled it with the export opportunities offered by U.S. trade agreements to maximize the potential of their U.S. operations.

This is just one case study of German success in the U.S. market. Success comes in many sizes – sometimes it’s the small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that makes the commitment to the United States, like PTF Pfuller, a manufacturer of precision parts and assemblies for the semiconductor, food, medical technology, laser and aerospace industries. The CEO, Mr. Oliver Zintl spent two years working with Jenny Trick of Racine County Economic Development Corporation, after an initial meeting at the USA Investment Center organized by SelectUSA and CS Germany at Hannover Messe 2011. PTF established its U.S. division in Sturtevant, Wisconsin in August 2013 with initial plans to start with a small sales staff – but then noted the potential to add manufacturing and a distribution center within five years, creating at least 50 jobs. PTF cited the tremendous work of Racine County and Milwaukee 7 (a regional economic development organization), as well as the central location, access to existing customers in the region, and the quality of theGateway Technical College – which offers the potential for a nearby source of talent for the company.

These are two great case studies of German-owned companies setting up shop or expanding existing ones in the United States – and further evidence of why SelectUSA has identified Germany as a key focus market for FDI attraction. German investment in the U.S. accounts for over 10 percent of all FDI in the country, a significant figure when taken into account that the U.S. is the largest recipient of FDI in the world. In an effort to support this continued economic relationship, SelectUSA is already planning events in Frankfurt in conjunction with Automechanika in September.

This is just part of a great line-up of events SelectUSA has planned for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more details around Automechanika and other events – and make sure to sign up for our free online newsletter to stay up to date on all our latest events!

To learn more about SelectUSA and our global programs for both EDOs and international investors please or follow us on Twitter at @SelectUSA.


U.S. Automotive Industry Driving Exports

March 28, 2014

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Ontario, California. He is the leader of ITA’s Commercial Service Global Automotive Team.File photo of workers building a car.

The U.S. Commercial Service’s auto team is dedicated to increasing U.S. automotive exports and supporting American automotive manufacturers doing business around the world. The automotive industry is crucial to the American economy as one of the largest employers and manufactured goods export sectors.

We’re happy to report that 2013 was an excellent year for the industry! Here are some highlights:

It’s clear this industry is running on all cylinders! We expect continued success for American businesses in this sector, so contact your nearest Export Assistance Center if you’re ready to bring your automotive products into the global market.

Our Global Automotive Team has specialists throughout the country and at US Embassies and Consulates in 72 countries. We are ready to help your company achieve its export goals.

Be sure to follow our team on Twitter @cs_autoteam to learn more about our automotive industry initiatives, upcoming events and other updates.


Trains, Planes and Automobiles…And so Much More

July 3, 2012

Tyler Voorhees is working in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration for the summer. He is a junior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Summer is finally here, the time when most Americans take time off from their busy work schedules and plan out a vacation or two. We either pack up the car for a family road trip, book flights to distant parts of the country or even load up the Recreational Vehicle (RV) and hit the road with no particular plans.

Shaking hands over a Harley-Davidson Softail are China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming (right), and former Secretary of Commerce, current U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke (center) (Photo Commerce)

Shaking hands over a Harley-Davidson Softail are China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming (right), and former Secretary of Commerce, current U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke (center) (Photo Commerce)

Given how much Americans love to travel, it is no wonder that we’ve developed one of the most sophisticated and competitive transportation industries, and by that we don’t just mean the iconic Detroit 3 or aerospace giant Boeing. America still manufactures a wide array of products that we lump together as “transportation.” This includes everything from recreational boats like kayaks, paddle boats and motorboats to the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is truly a global effort with components manufactured all over the world.

Not only is domestic demand for these goods strong, there is also strong demand for our transportation goods abroad. Did you know that in 2011 the U.S. aerospace industry alone contributed more than $87 billion to U.S. exports sales? U.S. aerospace exports are expected to grow thanks to the largest aerospace show in 2012, the Farnborough Airshow in England. Boeing has decided to demonstrate its new 787 Dreamliner for foreign buyers and expects strong sales this year as airlines prepare to increase their fleet size in preparation for the air travel boom sparked by an expected increase in international travel and tourism.

Also, what may be even more surprising is that China is expected to be a huge market for many recreational transportation goods, including pleasure boats, motorcycles and RVs. Harley-Davidson, for example, already has eight full-service dealerships in China, and it plans to open even more in the coming years.  Also, the RV market in China is about to take off, according to industry experts.  ‘RVs have a long and glorious history in the West,’ says one Chinese entrepreneur in Beijing.  ‘Chinese are the same; we love the outdoors.  So we’re learning the American and Western RV culture.’

The transportation industry is also at the forefront of development in the sustainable economy. Many people don’t know that several U.S. automotive plants produce no waste, remanufacturing drastically reduces the material, energy, and water usage of the U.S. service parts industry, and that more than 95 percent of U.S. automobiles are recycled. Combined with the ongoing investments in vehicle efficiency technologies such as advanced combustion engines, hybrid and electric vehicles, the U.S. automotive industry is the very epitome of the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

For all of the reasons above, we’ve decided to spend the month of July highlighting the successes the transportation industry has enjoyed abroad and all that we do here at the International Trade Administration (ITA) to help American businesses abroad.

We will be highlighting innovative work that shows the unconventional ways that businesses can find customers abroad, grow their businesses and create good-paying jobs here in America during the process. Make sure to check our blog for new articles and follow us on Twitter at @TradeGov for interesting facts as the month goes on.