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The 'Detroit Big Three' come roaring back

Ford, GM, and Chrysler made solid sales gains in the year ending in December 2011 despite the U.S.' continuing economic woes. And auto executives from around the world expect their market share to increase.
Written by Channtal Fleischfresser, Contributor on

Only a few years ago, America's auto industry was at death's doorstep, so to speak.

But while the country's economy struggles to regain its footing following the 2008-2009 financial crisis, America's car companies appear to be back on track - if not better off than they were before the recession.

The three main U.S. car companies showed significant sales growth for December. Ford, GM, and Chrysler saw gains from December 2010 of 17%, 5%, and 37%, respectively. Ford says it has not seen this strong a rebound in production since the 1980s.

Expectations are that the 'Detroit Big Three' will keep up the momentum, according to a recent KPMG survey of 200 auto industry executives.

According to the survey, many auto executives said they believed the U.S. auto companies would gain market share over the next five years.

The American auto industry has benefited from a couple of factors. The financial crisis and subsequent bail-out pushed the companies to make necessary structural changes, and as a result the companies are producing better-quality cars.

“When we add improving economic fundamentals to pent-up demand and an aging vehicle fleet, it’s now clear that auto sales should continue to grow in 2012, barring a shock to the system,” said Don Johnson, GM’s Vice President of U.S. sales.

Meanwhile, the industry's leading Japanese rivals, Toyota and Honda, have lost U.S. market share after Toyota recalled millions of vehicles and both companies suffered production losses in the aftermath of 2011's earthquake and tsunami and Japan.

Photo: Ford

via [Forbes]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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