The letters went beyond just asking for assistance, however, stating opposition to the move to cap the loans at a certain amount in the current Department of Energy loan scenario. Said Bob McKenna, president and CEO of Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, "the vehicle manufacturers and the supplier industry are interwoven." McKenna also contested the portrayal of economic assistance as a bailout, claiming the assistance will "help provide a framework and structure for protecting these valuable domestic manufacturing jobs."
Recent studies identify auto industry suppliers as the largest manufacturing sector in the U.S., providing 70 percent of the content of U.S.-built vehicles. These suppliers construct parts and technology used to produce in excess of 11 million new vehicles every year as well as aftermarket parts for repair and maintenance of more than 247 million vehicles currently on the road.--Colin Mathews