Posts Tagged ‘automotive’


Automotive Exports to Latin American Free Trade Agreement Partners on the Rise

August 14, 2014

Leif Anderson recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Free Trade Agreements Conference in Detroit will be a premier event for any business looking to expand exports in free trade markets.

This is especially true for U.S. auto exporters who are looking for new opportunities in increasingly attractive free trade markets in Latin America.

Mexico is the largest growing U.S. auto/auto parts export market in the world, with growth of $8.2 billion from 2009 to 2013 – that’s a 13 percent annual increase.

Mexico recently passed Brazil as the top Latin American car producer, increasing demand for automobile parts from the United States.

Robots In a Car Factory

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements forum will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters.

Auto parts/supplies exports to other Latin American markets have also grown since 2009:

  • Chile – 15.3 percent,
  • Colombia – 14.7 percent,
  • Peru – 16.2 percent,
  • Dominican Republic – 10 percent, and
  • Panama – 9.2 percent.

This growth can be largely attributed to strengthening free trade agreements in the region which have reduced or eliminated most import taxes on U.S. products. These markets also have vibrant middle classes and industrial demand.

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements event will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters looking to expand in these markets.

The event features insights from some of the most successful exporters in the industry, including:

  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist at General Motors, and
  • Michael S. Sheridan, Director of Global Trade Strategy with the Ford Motor Company.

The Federal Government is also supporting U.S. exporters expanding into Latin American free trade markets through the Look South campaign.

Businesses can find best prospect automotive industry market snapshots cutting across eight of our eleven Look South free trade agreement partner countries – along with similar market research on 20-plus industry sectors.

Looking forward, growing demand and fewer trade barriers have made this region an ideal destination for any the products of any U.S. business. We encourage you to start taking advantage of this great opportunity.


Wheels in Motion: Join SelectUSA in Germany at Automechanika and IAA

July 28, 2014

Cora Dickson is a Communications and Outreach Specialist for SelectUSA. Danit Kanal is an International Economist for SelectUSA and the author of a forthcoming report, “Invest in the Auto Industry: Promising Trends and Opportunities for Growth.”

USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe, April 2014

USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe, April 2014.

The exciting news last week that Volkswagen will create 2,000 jobs in Chattanooga, Tennessee was just the latest indication that the United States auto sector is recovering, expanding, and drawing the attention of investors worldwide.

Economic development organizations (EDOs) can capitalize on this limelight, and boost growth in their regions’ auto industry clusters, by joining the USA Investment Center at two trade shows in Germany this fall – Automechanika and the International Automobile Exhibition (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung – known as the IAA).

Exhibitors at Automechanika (September 16-20 in Frankfurt) represent a wide range of companies in this sector, from parts and components to accessories and electronics. Truly an international showcase, over 80 percent of exhibitors in 2012 were from outside Germany. Meanwhile, the IAA (September 25 – October 2 in Hannover), which can trace its origins back over 100 years, will focus this year on everything in the supply chain related to commercial vehicles.

This is a great time for U.S. EDOs to consider whether the automotive sector offers an opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). During the period 2008-2012, FDI in the U.S. auto industry grew at the average rate of over 9 percent per year. These trade shows will enable EDOs to meet directly with interested investors.

On top of the appealing factors across the board for all industries – such as lower energy costs, strong intellectual property rights, and high productivity – the United States is increasingly recognized as a solid production base for automakers and their suppliers from around the world. One reason is the rapidly rising consumer demand for vehicles: in June 2014, U.S. consumers purchased new cars and trucks at the fastest pace in eight years.

The evidence is strong that the U.S. automotive sector, which employs approximately 1.7 million U.S. workers, benefits enormously from FDI. Consider these recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:

  • In 2011, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts firms account for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. employment in this sector.
  • The 2012 FDI stock in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts accounted for almost 3 percent of total industry FDI in the United States and around 8 percent of manufacturing FDI in the United States.

Read more about the support provided to economic development organizations that join the USA Investment Center at these two premier events, and contact Amy Zecha at SelectUSA or Ed Fantasia at the Commercial Service in Munich for further information on how to register to participate.


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.


Transportation: Helping the Economy Move Forward

August 7, 2012

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.

Healthy economic development depends on a healthy transportation system.  That’s because people depend on everything from boats to trains to get to work, move their products, and help customers shop at their stores.

Across the globe, as economies push for more growth and development, there is increasing demand for transportation-related products and services, presenting an incredible opportunity for U.S. businesses.

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez during a ceremony formalizing a partnership to promote exports between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities.

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez during a ceremony formalizing a partnership to promote exports between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities.

For that exact reason, a major focus of our work at the International Trade Administration is on the transportation sector.  As you’ll see in this issue of International Trade Update, we’ve been working to help U.S. businesses in this field succeed in a number of ways.

For example, I was proud to participate in the Farnborough International Air Show, the world’s largest aerospace trade exhibition of 2012. Every other year, the global aerospace industry descends on England to exhibit their latest products and initiate partnerships. This year, $47 billion worth — that’s billion with a ‘b,’ — of orders were announced during the show.

As the largest aerospace industry in the world, this one sector contributed more than $89 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy in 2011, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. Furthermore, according to a study by the Economic and Statistics Administration of the Department of Commerce, aerospace directly supported more jobs through exports — 488,000 —than any other industry in 2011.

Other promising transportation sectors that achieved significant export shipments last year include motor vehicles ($63.4 billion), motor vehicle parts ($53.2 billion) and ships and boats ($2.4 billion).  Behind all these numbers is a significant story. Every time a business makes a sale abroad, that impacts bottom lines, jobs, communities and futures here at home.

Clearly, there are significant possibilities in this space. And the good news is that in the first five months of 2012, transportation equipment accounted for nearly $101 billion of U.S. exports, up 17.2 percent from the same months of 2011.

ITA is committed to keeping this momentum going. We continue to hold trade missions focused on transportation, including some later this year to South Africa, Zambia and Turkey.

We support the President’s recent announcement to help modernize and expand 5 major ports in the United States, thereby helping American businesses reach overseas markets more efficiently.

ITA is committed to keeping this momentum going.  We continue to raise a lot of awareness for our programs and will work hard to promote international trade, open foreign markets, and create jobs and opportunities for the American people.

Together, we can help the world meet its transportations needs far into the future, while strengthening businesses on our shores.



Auto Companies in Russia: Always Two Sides to a Story

May 1, 2012

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist and the Global Automotive Team Leader within the Commercial Service division of the International Trade Administration.

This past week 12 U.S. auto parts and service providers traveled through Russia with ITA’s Deputy Secretary Michelle O’Neill finding partners and business opportunities along the way. It will come as no surprise that three of the 12 are based in Michigan.

CAMACO, LLC is a Novi, Michigan based independent supplier of engineered seat frames to the automotive market with locations in North America, South America, Europe and India. Camaco supports 1,200 employees worldwide and their diverse product scope includes stamped metal and wire-frame seat assemblies, headrest and armrest structures.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O'Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg.

Participants in the Russia Automotive Trade Mission and Deputy Under Secretary O’Neill at Johnson Controls in St. Petersburg. (Photo U.S. Department of Commerce)

Camaco has only just begun working with the U.S. Commercial Service and is looking to expand operations into Russia. They have existing operations in India and Brazil.

Another Michigan company on the mission Fluxtrol, Inc., is based in Auburn Hills. Fluxtrol was established in 1981 and manufactures soft magnetic materials for magnetic flux control in induction heating systems and provides advanced engineering services including computer simulation, induction coil design and process optimization.

Fluxtrol, a client of the U.S. Commercial Service for the past  7 years, embarked on this mission to expand their presence in the Russian market and are looking to broaden and deepen their auto industry contacts. They are already planning follow-up trip. Robert Ruffini, President of Fluxtrol is also a member of the Michigan District Export Council.

Inductoheat, Inc., established in 1962 and based in Madison Heights, is a small yet leading manufacturer of induction heating equipment with more than 50 years of experience. Inductoheat operates 40 facilities worldwide providing products to many of the world’s largest automotive companies.

Indoctoheat has been working with the U.S. Commercial Service for the past two decades and hoped to gain exposure to and understanding of the Russian market, make significant connections with leaders, partners and potential customers in Russia, and explore opportunities for business expansion in Russia.

“As a result of participating in the trade mission, I will be coming back within the next three weeks to visit two new prospective clients and further develop our level of support for the Russian automotive market,” said Inductoheat, Inc., Vice President of Heat Treating Rob Madeira.

Related: U.S. Auto Parts Firms Find Partners in Russia

These and the rest of the mission participants are either already doing business in Russia and looking to expand or are here with the hope of expanding into the Russian market.

To facilitate good business relationships for U.S. companies, the Commercial Service in Russia and globally frequently work with foreign buyers to ensure that U.S. firms find positive and long-lasting relationships in an overseas market.

Some of those buyers were recognized by Ms. O’Neill during the mission’s visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Specifically, Triton-Import of Moscow was recognized for its achievement in opening the Russian automotive spare parts market to American small and medium-sized enterprises. For the past 19 years, Triton-Import has been an important Commercial Service partner. This partnership has resulted in more than $50 million in sales for U.S. exporters of automotive spare parts.

The two companies honored last week in St. Petersburg include Solex and Auto Sport Tuning. Solex was recognized for their achievement as a leading importer of American-made trucks and spare parts into Russia. The Commercial service has helped Solex find U.S. partners to actively market U.S. brands that has resulted in more than $300 million in sales for American truck manufacturers and spare parts for American trucks.

Auto Sport Tuning (AST), a relatively young partner of the Commercial Service, was recognized for its leading role as an importer of U.S. specialty automotive equipment in the Russian market. AST has participated in the International Buyer Program, or IBP, since 2007, attending the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result of this collaboration and partnership with the Commercial Service, AST has established business partnerships with several American automotive performance suppliers.

The U.S. and Russian companies show the partnership it takes to facilitate global trade. Great partners home and abroad can be facilitated with the help of the Commercial Service domestically and overseas.


Featured Trade Event: U.S. Automotive Parts and Components Trade Mission to Russia

November 1, 2011

April 22–28, 2012
U.S. Automotive Parts and Components Trade Mission to Russia
Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Samara, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. (© Jupiterimages/Getty)

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. (© Jupiterimages/Getty)

This mission is designed to provide an opportunity for a diverse cross-section of U.S. companies that sell automotive goods and services to explore Russia’s rapidly expanding car and truck assembly market. It will be led by Michelle O’Neill, deputy under secretary of commerce for international trade.

With more than140 million consumers and a growing middle class, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for U.S. exporters. Sales of cars and trucks in Russia are currently growing at an annual rate of 30 percent. In 2010, Russian customers purchased 1.9 million cars. This figure includes 646,000 new Russian cars and 1.25 million foreign cars, both imported and produced in Russia. Importers forecast continued rapid growth of approximately 20 percent in 2011. If these trends continue, most experts project Russia will be the largest automotive market in Europe within the next few years.

Foreign automakers have taken notice of the Russian automotive market’s potential for growth and are building assembly plants to meet the increasing demand for high-quality automobiles. General Motors, for example, has a $335 million plant in Togliatti, a joint venture with Russian auto giant AvtoVaz. Other major international producers, including Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai, have made significant investments in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad oblast, turning it into a new automotive assembly cluster.

Specific automotive sectors targeted for attention by this trade mission include components for vehicle manufacture, replacement parts, aftermarket products, repair equipment, testing equipment, and software and engineering services.

The mission will begin in Moscow and will include site visits and consultations in St. Petersburg and in two centers of the Russian auto industry, Samara and Togliatti. In addition to market briefings by industry experts, the mission program will include opportunities to meet key Russian government officials and decision-makers, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners, and site visits to automotive assembly plants and component manufacturers.

The cost to participate in the trade mission ranges from $4,952 to $5,701 per company for one representative, depending on firm size. There is a $1,220 fee for each additional company participant. The fee covers all in-country travel and one-on-one meetings, but mission participants will be responsible for travel to and from Russia, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by January 6, 2012. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Eduard Roytberg of the USFCS, tel.: (909) 466-4138; e-mail:, or Kenneth C. Duckworth of the USFCS, tel.: +7 (812) 326-2560; e-mail:

A related webinar, “The Russian Automotive Sector—New Opportunities for U.S. Suppliers,” will be held November 17. For more information, go to