In 2009, the US auto industry asked for government assistance in helping to level out their balance sheets in order to prevent another Great Depression from occurring. Taxpayers in the United States sent the automakers $80 billion in total to prevent GM and Chrysler from going under. The ultimate purpose behind the move? Perhaps it was to save American jobs.
Automobile Industry Statistics
Automobile dealerships alone employ almost 1 million people in the United States.
Although there are huge dealerships, the average one qualifies as a small business in most towns. About 50 people are employed at a dealership to the tune of about $3 million local dollars. Without the bailout, it was argued that all of these revenues could be lost, creating a trickle-down effect that could destroy the interior of America.
Essential Facts About Today’s US Auto Industry
1. Total sales for the entire US auto industry increased by 8% in 2013 over the previous year.
2. 1.36 million vehicles were sold in December 2013 alone.
3. Chrysler saw the biggest year-to-year increase in overall sales with a 9% total increase. Ford saw the smallest increase in sales at just 3%.
Takeaway: The automotive industry in the United States has recovered well since the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. With sales coming back to spur the economy, more local dollars are in play for the GDP and that provides more opportunities for wealth to increase. If sales continue at the pace they did in 2013, it could be a very bright 2014 for the American automotive industry.
Additional Facts to Consider About the US Auto Industry
1. The bestselling vehicle for the last 32 consecutive years has been the Ford F-Series pickup truck.
2. The last time the US auto industry saw the same levels of growth was over four decades ago.
3. 1 out of every 17 private sector jobs is currently tied to the US auto industry in some way.
4. The automotive industry last year in the United States cleared over $550 billion in total revenues.
5. For every $1 of manufacturing activity that occurs within this industry, $1.48 is returned to the economy in benefits.
6. Only the aerospace industry in the United States has a larger overall employee payroll than the US auto industry.
7. Despite all of these record gains, however, employment within this industry has not yet reached pre-2008 levels.
8. In 2011, the US auto industry had an all time high in automotive exports at $132 billion.
9. There are 7.1 million car sales each year.
10. 133 million passenger cars are currently in use in the United States.
Takeaway: Although the US auto industry should be proud of the large gains it has seen overall, the simple fact still remains that employment numbers aren’t the same as they were before the bailout occurred. Because so many jobs are tied into this industry, it is understandable why stabilizing it was necessary, yet part of stabilization should include a return of jobs that were historically much higher than they are today. Until those levels return, it is difficult to call the government bailout of the US auto industry a true success.