Automakers put the great recession in the rearview mirror, according to Kiplinger.
Few sectors of the economy suffered more during the Great Recession than the auto market. Sales of cars and trucks fell by 36% from 2007 to 2009, when most consumers were far too spooked by the plunging stock market and widespread layoffs to even think about buying a new vehicle. The additional stress threw two of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, already bedeviled by high labor costs and a fleet of offerings out of sync with consumer demand, into bankruptcy. Production at many auto parts factories ground to a halt.
But a lot has changed in only a few years’ time. Since bottoming out in 2009, auto sales have been on a steady rebound, prompting manufacturers to ramp up output and hire more workers. General Motors and Chrysler have emerged from bankruptcy protection leaner and nimbler. Profits are up industrywide. The auto industry’s turnaround has proved to be a consistent bright spot in a U.S. economy that’s still not hitting on all cylinders.