| WASHINGTON, June 30
WASHINGTON, June 30 Japanese carmakers boosted
investment in their U.S. plants by more than $5 billion in 2013,
the biggest increase on record, new figures from the Japan
Automobile Manufacturers Association showed on Monday.
Total manufacturing investment in U.S. plants, vehicles and
engines reached $40.6 billion in 2013, up $5.2 billion from the
previous year and the biggest jump since Japanese automakers
started building U.S. factories in the early 1980s.
Since Honda Motor Co began making cars in Ohio in
1982, Japanese automakers have come to rely on locally made
vehicles for the U.S. market. About 70 percent of the vehicles
sold by Japanese brands in the United States are made in North
Japanese automakers cut the exposure to fluctuating currency
valuations and shipping expenses by making cars in the United
States, Mexico and Canada for the U.S. market.
U.S. employment rose slightly to 82,816 workers last year at
the 26 manufacturing facilities, 36 research plants and
distributors operated by Japanese automakers Honda, Toyota Motor
Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Subaru, a unit of Fuji
Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Motors Corp and
Isuzu Motors. The increase in workers employed on
research and development was the biggest since 2005.
"Direct employment through manufacturing and R&D increased
for the third year in a row, proving the Japanese auto
industry's value to America and its many hard workers," said
JAMA USA general director Ron Bookbinder.
Another 319,568 workers were employed at the 6,312
dealerships operated by Japanese carmakers last year, JAMA said.
Bookbinder said the number of manufacturing workers at
Japanese plants in the United States rose 2.7 percent to 59,494.
(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Detroit; Editing by