United States Automotive Industry
The American automobile industry began in the 1890s and rapidly evolved into the largest automotive producer in the World through the use of mass-production. The industry began with hundreds of manufacturers, but by the end of the 1920s it became dominated by three large companies – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. After the Great Depression and World War II, these companies continued to prosper and the US produced near 3/4 of all automobiles in the world at 1950. However, after record of production near 15 millions in some 1970s years, at the beginning and middle of that decade, a combination of high oil prices, increased competition from foreign auto manufacturers, and increasing government regulation severely affected the companies. In the 1980s–1990s US auto power was overtaken by rapidly growed Japanese auto industry but in the 21st century both of them are balanced and now are the second largest in the World (after China) with annual production of 8–10 millions.In the ensuing years, the companies periodically bounced back, but by 2008 the industry was in turmoil. As a result, General Motors and Chrysler filed bankruptcy reorganization and were bailed out with loans and investments from the federal government.
US auto sales touched a new high in 2015 as easy credit, hot new vehicles and strong consumer confidence pushed sales slightly above the record set in 2000, industry data showed Tuesday.
Some 17.47 million vehicles were sold in the United States last year, nearly 70,000 more than the record set 15 years earlier, according to Autodata.
Sales were up six percent from the 16.52 million vehicles registered in 2014.
The boom comes after sales collapsed to lows not seen in decades in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis which knocked General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy.
That downturn accelerated much-needed restructuring at the Detroit Three carmakers, which began racking in record profits when the economy improved and sales started climbing again.
The good times are expected to keep on rolling in 2016.
“The US economy continues to expand and the most important factors that drive demand for new vehicles are in place, so we expect to see a second consecutive year of record industry sales in 2016,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist.
“The single most important pieces are the ongoing gains in employment and the growth in personal income. When you add in lower energy prices, it’s easy to see why consumer spending is strong.”
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