When auto companies invest in new plants, the public takes notice. New factories mean new jobs and a boost in economic activity in individual towns and regions.
But turning raw ground into a new auto plant is just one piece of the economic force of automotive capital expenditure. Automotive manufacturers, both carmakers and parts suppliers, spend billions annually rebuilding older plants, converting old lines into new products, retooling factories and embracing new capabilities - in addition to constructing all-new factories.
The ongoing stream of investment often comes as a surprise to the general public.
In a single month this year - March - the United States saw 36 new projects announced, representing a combined investment of more than $1 billion and plans for 8,100 new jobs, according to the Center for Automotive Research's Book of Deals.
Of those 36 March projects, 20 will be expansions of existing facilities, and two are factory retooling projects. The other 14 are planned new facilities.