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A close up of a robotic arm working on a car.
  1. Changes in Industry in the United States
  2. U.S. Auto Industry
  3. Changes in the U.S. Automobile Industry
  4. The Auto Industry in the Midwest
  5. Foreign Investment in Industry in the U.S.
  6. Workplace Safety Standards
  7. Work-related Injuries and Deaths
  8. The American Dream and the Housing Industry
  9. The American Dream and the Mobile Home
  10. The Rust Belt
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A woman working on an assembly line
An employee works one part of an assembly line, putting together an automobile.
Photo from Jim West.
The Auto Industry in the Midwest
From the late nineteenth century to the present day, the U.S. auto industry has been concentrated in the Midwest. The vast majority of production facilities are concentrated in the so-called “auto corridor,” a region extending from Michigan and Chicago, Illinois in the west, south and east through Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and north into Ontario, Canada. The availability of raw materials in the Midwest makes the region a natural hub. Over the last twenty years, the concentration of the U.S. auto industry in this region has increased; assembly plants formerly located on both coasts have been replaced with new plants built in the Midwest to minimize distribution costs. The increasingly lean and efficient just-in-time distribution process allows suppliers to deliver parts and materials to multiple assembly plants.
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