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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.