Say hello to the auto industry’s newest comeback kid
U.S. automakers sold 18.7 million cars in September, making it the industry’s best month since July 2005. Each of the “big three” American automaker — General Motors, Ford Motor, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — saw an increase in sales during the month.
GM saw its sales increase by 12.5 percent in comparison to September 2014, and Fiat Chrysler sales increased by 13.6 percent; Ford’s sales were also impressive comparatively to earlier months.
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 2, 2015
American car makers have struggled for decades with the rise of international competition, increasing gas prices, and labor disputes. The low point for the industry came in 2009 when General Motors, the largest American automaker, and Chrysler were both forced to declare bankruptcy. The federal government decided to rescue both companies and help nurse them back to financial health.
The resurgence for American manufacturers has been years in the making. Since the tumultuous year for car makers in 2009, the American auto industry has added approximately 400,000 jobs.
Recent automobile sales have been helped by very low gasoline prices and interest rates. Gas prices look like they will remain low for the foreseeable future, but interest rates will most likely rise soon. The Federal Reserve has delayed the increase in rates, but it will most likely come early in 2016.
The industry narrowly avoided a scare last week as Fiat Chrysler and United Auto Workers Union were able to reach a labor deal and will not suffer through a strike which would shut down a significant amount of U.S. production.
Do you think the U.S. auto industry is making a comeback, or were September’s sales the result of favorable market conditions? Feel free to leave a comment or find me on Twitter @Andrew_Morse4