WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bob McKenna, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), expressed his gratitude to President Bush this morning on the announcement of the federal government’s willingness to provide financial assistance to the automotive industry.

“We are extremely hopeful that the action taken by the President will help the entire auto industry – vehicle manufacturers and suppliers alike – and provide needed financial stability to allow the industry to move forward,” McKenna commented. “Especially in these extraordinarily challenging economic times,” McKenna continued, “we cannot afford the failure of a major manufacturing sector and a true cornerstone of our nation’s economy.”

McKenna added that the President’s action was a necessary first step, and much work still remained. “Supplier companies are struggling with dire financial constraints themselves and many may face bankruptcy unless we see access to capital more readily available.”

“The supplier industry is very grateful for this needed assistance and will continue to work with our customers and lawmakers to help preserve valuable domestic manufacturing jobs going forward.”

According to recent studies, motor vehicle suppliers are the nation’s largest manufacturing sector and the largest employer in seven states. Suppliers provide 70% of the content of U.S.-built cars and trucks. 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.