News / Economy

Detroit Showcases Dramatic Turnaround at Auto Show

Detroit Showcases Dramatic Turnaround at Auto Showi
X
January 14, 2014 3:38 PM
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit showcases the automotive industry's latest innovations and has launched many successful vehicles. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, U.S. automakers have much to celebrate at this year’s event. Fueled by growing sales and increased production, the industry has made a dramatic turnaround since hovering dustry on the brink of collapse less than five years ago.
TEXT SIZE - +
Kane Farabaugh
— U.S. automakers have much to celebrate at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Fueled by growing sales and increased production, the industry has made a dramatic turnaround since hovering on the brink of collapse less than five years ago.

Taking a chance

Facing bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler was grappling with the fate of its assets, including the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant where Charles Archard worked.

“Me and my wife both worked in the plant," Archard said. "She took the buyout. I stayed there. But there was a 50/50 chance that it could have went bankrupt. I took that chance.”

It paid off. Chrysler not only reversed its decision to close Sterling Heights, but also added another shift. At this year’s North American International Auto Show, the company announced that workers like Archard will soon be building a new mid-size sedan at the plant, which will offer job security for the foreseeable future.

“And then we found out a billion dollars is going to be put into the plant for new vehicles and everything, so it was great,” Archard said.

'The auto industry is back'

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow represents the state of Michigan and says the Chrysler announcement is an example of how the U.S. auto industry's success is reflected in this year’s auto show.

 “We’re back. This auto industry, the home team from Michigan, is back," Stabenow said. “Today we are seeing not only fuel economy, but great engineering, design, technology.”

One example of the change was evident at an event for General Motor’s Chevrolet brand. Instead of showcasing smaller, fuel-efficient cars, the automaker rolled out a new version of the snazzy Chevrolet Corvette, a high performance car that consumes a lot of gas and carries a high price tag.

Fuel efficiency

“I think you’re going to find that we definitely are profiling our newest, latest, greatest, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a lot of emphasis on fuel efficiency across the board,” said Christi Landy of General Motors.

In fact, Landy says sales of fuel-efficient compacts like the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic are up 10 percent this year from last year.

At a news conference for Chevrolet’s competitor, Ford, CEO Alan Mulally predicted an even greater market for such vehicles.

“We expect small vehicles to represent more than half of our total global sales by the end of this decade," Mulally said, "with nearly one third of all of our sales coming from Asia Pacific.”

That’s good news for Ford workers.  But the state of Michigan, home of the U.S. auto industry, still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country about 9 percent.  

While some jobs are returning as the industry rebounds, it's only a fraction of the number of jobs lost during the region’s long economic decline.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Victor Ilodigwe from: Nigeria
January 14, 2014 2:30 PM
While popular uprising has been a means bringing unpopular government down I do not believe that taking out a government in the manner not contemplated by the constitution is the way to go even if you believe the govt lacks the capacity to effect the types of changes you desire leading a protest movement to achieve what the ballot box did not give you is for me an extreme political desperation, now that the protest movement has got the attention of govt I think that they should sit down and talk,talk and talk in the best interest of the country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.