The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) is urging Congress to pass legislation that would assist the industry's transition to more fuel efficient technologies.
Specifically, MEMA asked Congress to provide funding that would help automakers and parts suppliers retool their facilities, purchase new equipment and expand or build new facilities to meet the demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. MEMA also called for funding for advanced battery technology to help speed the development of plug-in hybrids and pure plug-in vehicles.
"The entire industry is transitioning to more efficient vehicles and more fuel-saving technologies," says MEMA President and CEO Bob McKenna. "We hope that when Congress returns next month, they will encourage this transition by providing the necessary funding to assist the hundreds of companies, big and small, that are working to get this job done."
McKenna said suppliers have long supported funding for both the retooling of facilities and advanced battery development, provisions that were authorized in last year's energy bill, signed into law in December. "Now's the time for Congress to nail the numbers down," he said.
McKenna also thanked Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) and Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) for their leadership in promoting the issue.
According to recent studies, motor vehicle suppliers employ 783,100 in the United States and contribute to 4.5 million domestic jobs. Suppliers also provide 70 percent of the content of U.S.-built cars and trucks, adds MEMA.
Additionally, suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in the production of more than 11 million new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 247 million vehicles on the road today.