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Exactly How Much Does Your Car Contribute to the U.S. Economy? A New Online Service Tells Consumers the Jobs and Economic Impact of Their Auto Purchase

PHOTO Allows Consumers to Compare Cars and Determine their Jobs-Per-Car Rating and Domestic Parts Content -

WASHINGTON, May 5 -- An online service launching today gives consumers a valuable new resource for making auto purchase decisions. Just as they can turn to Consumer Reports for reliability ratings, or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for crash test results, consumers can now use to understand how many American jobs each automaker supports and the level of domestic content in individual cars.

"Every automaker promotes its U.S. plants in its ads and PR, because every year millions of car buyers care about where their cars are made and how much their purchase will contribute to our economy," said Level Field spokesperson Mike Behm. "Now car buyers have a simple, easy way to look past those ads and get a clear picture of how each automaker supports U.S. jobs."

Consumers use the new online service by comparing the make and model of up to four vehicles at a time. They instantly receive reports on each, allowing them to compare how many jobs each company supports on a car-by-car basis, where the vehicle was built, and how much of the parts in that vehicle are "domestic" (as defined by the U.S. Government). The service uses 2007 data, which is the most current available.

For example, someone comparing a Ford Taurus with a Hyundai Elantra will see that the Ford supports almost seven times as many jobs per car than the Hyundai, contains ninety times more domestic parts, and was assembled in North America (versus Korea, for the Elantra). Similarly, someone comparing a Honda Accord with a VW Passat will see that the Accord supports more than twice as many jobs per car, contains sixty-five times the domestic parts, and was assembled in North America (versus Germany for the Passat).

Behm continued, "The service generates some surprising results. GM uses substantially fewer employees to build a car, but still manages to employ more than 40 times more Americans than VW. Honda employs fewer Americans than Toyota, but supports more jobs on a car-by-car basis."

"Meanwhile, a Hyundai built in Alabama actually has less domestic content than a Ford Fusion built in Mexico," Behm said. "Hyundai assembles Sonatas in Alabama, but it builds their engines and transmissions in South Korea. The fact is, if Ford, GM and Chrysler used as few domestic parts as the typical foreign automaker, about $95 billion in U.S. parts sales and about 1.8 million U.S. jobs would move overseas."

Recent research conducted by Level Field Institute found that seventy-four percent of Americans are more likely to buy a car if the company producing it employs significantly more U.S. workers than its competitors. Seventy-eight percent of those polled said they pay at least "some" attention to where the parts of an automobile are made. And knowing more about the differences between automakers has a powerful impact on purchase intent, according to the study. More information on the study is available at LEVEL FIELD INSTITUTE

About Level Field Institute

Level Field seeks to promote U.S. jobs, R&D and infrastructure investment by offering clear comparisons of how various automakers contribute to the U.S. economy. Established by retirees and families of GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and the suppliers and dealers that support them, the Level Field Institute also has the support of major manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, unions and others who care about these issues. Level Field welcomes foreign automaker investments and supports free trade.