$60 Trillion: That’s How Much the U.S. Auto Industry Has Contributed to the National Economy Since 1900



ROYAL OAK, Mich., February 17, 2009 — DBusiness magazine is sending individual copies of its March/April 2009 issue to President Obama, members of the White House staff, every U.S. Representative and Senator, members of the newly-formed Presidential Task Force on Autos, along with various Department secretaries this morning, marking the beginning of the second round of Congressional financing discussions for the American auto industry.

Nationally renowned economist David Littmann has penned an exclusive analysis of the U.S. auto industry’s contribution to the nation’s economy from 1900 through 2008. This special report from Littmann, longtime chief economist of Comerica Bank, evaluates for the first time the rise of Detroit’s auto industry and quantifies a major portion of the value it added to our nation’s GDP — $60 trillion (in today’s dollars).

That number doesn’t include wartime arms and defense that Detroit and its supplier base have contributed to the nation’s security, safety, and prosperity during World War I, World War II, and every other international conflict.

Based on the first-of-its-kind analysis, it is the opinion of DBusiness magazine’s editorial staff that the federal government has a moral obligation to spare the Big Three automakers from bankruptcy action. In fact, the editorial staff believes the federal government should nationalize one or all three of the automakers before a bankruptcy filing is submitted.

The Big Three automakers, along with their financial arms and suppliers, are asking for an estimated $50 billion in loans from the federal government to survive the global economic meltdown. But that loan amount is minuscule when compared to the $60 trillion the U.S. auto industry has contributed to the national economy since 1900. In fact, $50 billion is but .083% of $60 trillion.

In addition, the special report cites the current direct and indirect employment of the U.S. auto industry, a number estimated to be 16,050,000 jobs.

The March/April 2009 issue of DBusiness magazine is available on newsstands March 3.

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Contact: Aamira Bussey Bellamy
313-832-2210, ext. 17

Lauren Reinhard
248-691-1800, ext. 165