Though the economy has struggled throughout 2011, one sector that saw some significant improvement was the American auto industry. In fact, about one million more cars are expected to be sold this year than last year, and American automakers are once again claiming a larger share of the American auto market than their foreign competitors:
After selling roughly 11.8 million cars and trucks last year, U.S. vehicle sales to businesses and consumers are expected to hit nearly 12.8 million in 2011…That’s up from 10.6 million at the height of the Great Recession in 2009. Through November, new-vehicle sales had logged six straight months of year-over-year gains. That should continue in December, when 1.2 million vehicles are likely to be sold.
In addition, U.S. and foreign automakers “are poised to add nearly 167,000 U.S. jobs by the end of 2015.” “The industry has pretty much hired back just about everybody from the automotive side that had been laid off. And now they’re hiring fresh, so they’re actually adding to their rosters. And it’s not just the Detroit automakers. It’s everybody,” said Aaron Bragman, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive.
Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if the Obama administration hadn’t stepped in to rescue the American auto industry, protecting it from an uncontrolled bankruptcy. Remember, at the time, Republicans were convinced that the rescue would set the country on the “road to socialism,” raging about the “war on capitalism.” However, it seems that the rescue is going to turn out to be one of the most important steps the administration took in 2009.