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.
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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.