In 2008, the American auto industry was in trouble. General Motors and Chrysler had filed for bankruptcy. In states across the country, more than 400,000 had lost their jobs. Only a few months after he was sworn in, President Obama was faced with the decision on whether to intervene or allow the collapse of entire auto industry and the elimination of an estimated 1 million jobs.
The President chose to save America's car companies and committed the federal government to that mission.
And it paid off.
Now, GM and Chrysler are growing again. For the first time in 16 years, these companies are gaining market share compared to foreign automakers. In fact, Detroit has added 115,000 jobs since emerging from bankruptcy.
GM, in particular, is seeing to its fastest pace of growth since 1998 -- and yesterday, the company announced that it was hiring 4,200 workers in seventeen plants throughout the country.
But U.S. auto manufactures haven’t just produced slightly improved models of past cars and trucks. Now, they are turning out fuel efficient vehicles that will help our country achieve energy independence and save families cash at the pump. Today, GM, Chrysler, and Ford are laying the groundwork for future growth.
[M]ake no mistake: the Big Three are taking the next step in a revival for Detroit that should continue for the foreseeable future.
GM, Ford and Chrysler are all profitable and expect to stay profitable. And they are putting out perhaps the best cars and trucks they've ever built. Their quality, styling and fuel economy are all improving. That will keep buyers coming back to the showroom and give Detroit's automakers the momentum to grow their business.
Yesterday’s announcement from GM was a positive sign for our country and further evidence that the American economy is on the upswing. It's not just the auto industry that is seeing its fortunes change. Over the past 14 months, our economy has generated more than 2 million private-sector jobs -- and while much remains to be done, Americans are experiencing more and more opportunity every day.