WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the news that the Ford Motor Company plans to expand its capacity at its Cleveland Engine Plant #1. Brown’s Deputy State Director attended a celebration of the expansion, which took place today at the company’s Brook Park facility.
“The expansion of Ford’s manufacturing capacity at its Engine Plant #1 is good news for Cleveland, good news for our workers, and a sign that the American auto industry is truly on the rebound,” Brown said. “American cars, like those made by Ford, are energy-efficient, safe, and consumer-friendly—they can compete with those made anywhere in the world. Our workers are top-notch and have played a key role in Ford’s success.
“While Ford did not require assistance through the auto restructuring, make no mistake—allowing Chrysler and General Motors go under would have irreparably harmed Ford and the entire auto supply chain,” Brown added. “When the outlook was bleak, we made the tough and politically unpopular decision to intervene—and today, the American auto industry is standing tall once again.”
Brown has been an outspoken advocate for Ohio’s auto industry. In November of 2008, he introduced S. 3175, the Auto Industry Emergency Bridge Loan Act, with a bipartisan group of colleagues. In December 2008, Brown fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were allocated to aid the Big 3 and American auto suppliers. At the start of 2009, Brown applauded President Obama’s decision to advance restructuring plans to ensure the viability of the American auto industry.
Brown also was a strong supporter of the Cash for Clunkers program, in which the federal government provided Ohio consumers with vouchers to purchase new fuel-efficient vehicles. The program was a resounding success, helping American consumers purchase nearly 700,000 new vehicles—adding nearly one percent to the third-quarter GDP growth at the time. The program stabilized the auto sector and saved or created thousands of jobs across Ohio and the nation.
According to a 2010 study by the Center for Automotive Research, more than 792,000 Ohio jobs depend on the auto industry; this figure includes 120,285 direct employment (people employed directly by auto industry: 39,685 by automakers and 80,600 by parts suppliers); 276,330 indirect employment (jobs indirectly employed by automakers or parts suppliers: 167,891 by automakers and 108,439 by parts suppliers); and 395,981 spin-off employment (expenditure-induced employment resulting from spending by direct and intermediate employees; 221,018 by automakers and 174,963 by suppliers). A 2011 study by the Center for Automotive Research found that 164,654 jobs in 2009 would have been lost in Ohio if the auto industry had not been rescued.