Obama’s plan for the auto industry
Car manufacturing plants are already being restructured. Can a new plan return prosperity to American automotive companies and their workers?
According to an Associated Press report, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out his plans to reestablish Michigan’s manufacturing facilities to produce alternative energy products. The plan would retool empty factories to produce wind turbines, solar panels and other energy products. He also intends to provide loans and tax credits to American auto plants and manufacturers to retool their factories to produce fuel-efficient cars, and a $7,000 credit to motorists who buy such cars.
Although some car companies have already begun retooling their plants , added benefits and incentives can help spur the process. The senator spoke encouragingly of higher mileage cars such as the Chevy Volt. Comparing his new vision of the auto industry to the one from a century ago, he said, “At the turn of the 20th century, there were literally hundreds of car companies offering a wide choice of steam vehicles and gas engines. I believe we are entering a similar era of expanding consumer choices, from higher mileage cars, to new electric entrants like GM's Volt, to flex-fuel cars and trucks powered by biofuels and driven by Michigan innovation.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.