Multimedia

Elvis has not left the building

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Reports of the demise of the domestic auto industry are greatly exaggerated. If you read the papers, the Big Three are living on borrowed time. Perhaps the media is forgetting that people still need to get from place to place. Maybe they think we'll all just teleport there (you first, BTW).

Monday at the Chicago Auto ShowSure there's likely to be a shakeout and a few brands will cease to exist, but doesn't history tell us that brands come and go. Remember Studebaker, Hudson, Packard, AMC, Oldsmobile, and, of course, Edsel.

The problem is most people in the media have very short memories. Sales of new vehicles are cyclical. They ebb and flow with the frequency of the tides. Up until last year, automakers have been riding a wave of unprecedented sales, peaking at more than 17 million units per year. But things haven't always been so rosy in the auto industry.

In 1991, new-vehicle sales dropped to 12 million units per year. Like today, the vultures began to circle and automakers dug in. Currently, we are on pace for about 14 million--so we're still producing and selling more vehicles that we did at the most recent low-water mark. Obviously the auto industry is more resilient that many think.

It's recently been reported that the scrap rate for vehicles now exceeds the production rate. In other words, each day there are fewer vehicles on the road than the day before. Eventually, people will need to buy new vehicles just to keep up.

Today, both Chrysler and General Motors presented plans to Congress to further reduce jobs and costs to better compete in today's marketplace. It's something that had to be done and something that probably should have been done years ago. Of course, the automakers need to do this to show fiscal responsibility as they continue to ask for federal loans to bridge the gap until the economy recovers.

Regardless of what happens in the next year or so, Americans will still need cars. They will need 14, 15, 16 million cars per year. The foreign automakers can't support that demand--now or in the near-term future. The domestic industry will is needed weather we like it or not--that is unless you want to pay $40,000 for a Honda Civic.

And the doomsday media may be missing the most important factoid of them all. Americans are in love with cars. Short ones, tall ones, skinny ones, fat ones. There's a car for every buyer and, eventually, a buyer for every car. Want proof? Scroll down.

Monday at the Chicago Auto Show

BTW, the lines aren't always this long, it was a Federal holiday after all. But still, reports of the demise of the domestic auto industry are clearly premature.

« Last Post Next Post »

View all Posts from this Blog

Follow Us Socially Using #CAS15

Blog

More

Thursday, October, 16, 2014

Preparing Your Vehicle for the Long Chicago Winters

Yes, I know fall has just begun. If you're a Chicagoan, you know that means winter is right around the corner. ...

Friday, October, 10, 2014

Subaru Fights Accidents With EyeSight

When Subaru introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show this past February, much mention was made ...

Tuesday, October, 07, 2014

Chicago Auto Show Stars Hit the Road at MAMA Rally

This year's Midwest Automotive Media Association's Fall Rally featured a number of 2014 Chicago Auto Show ...

Monday, October, 06, 2014

MAMA Fall Rally Picks

Each fall, approximately 70 MAMA members flock to Autobahn Country Club of Joliet for the chance to jump behind the ...

Saturday, October, 04, 2014

Z06 Officially Fastest Production Chevy Ever!

Chevrolet continued the recent tradition of making manufacturer news at Midwest Automotive Media Association Rally ...

Friday, October, 03, 2014

SUVs for Everyone the '14 MAMA Fall Rally

Given the opportunity to test more than 70 vehicles on the street, track and trail at the recent Midwest Automotive ...

Thursday, September, 25, 2014

All-new 2015 Ford Edge Available Early Next Year

Will the 2015 Ford Edge be the most popular utility vehicle among Millennials next year? Ford sure hopes so.

Wednesday, September, 24, 2014

Volkswagen Beetles Out To Prove They Can Win

The No. 34 Rockstar Volkswagen Beetle GRC made is world debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show this past February with ...

Wednesday, September, 17, 2014

Hyundai Continues the Fight against Childhood Cancer

Since Hyundai launched its Hope On Wheels program in 1998, the automaker has been able to rise $87 million for the ...

Tuesday, September, 16, 2014

National Child Passenger Safety Week is Underway

This week, communities across the nation will participate in National Child Passenger Safety Week by hosting local ...

More

10/24/2014 10:33:04 AM

#FlashbackFriday to a cartoon from the Pope Manufacturing Co. in Hartford that ran during the 1907 Chicago Auto Show. It shows a horde of salesmen all vying for the attention of the prospective buyer who has loads of money. The ad concludes that the gentleman chose the 1907 Pope-Hartford. Can you guess how much it sold for

10/23/2014 2:36:03 PM

#ThrowbackThursday to the @Ford robot in 1966 and in 2014! Did you see it at either of these shows

10/23/2014 12:54:31 PM

The votes are in and the crowd favorite for the new #CAS15 is… the ad featuring the white car! Thanks to everyone who helped us choose the design for this year’s show. We hope to see you all in February

10/23/2014 8:00:02 AM

We’ve launched our new site for #CAS15 and it now features seamless social media integration. What do you think of it?: http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/

10/22/2014 3:00:00 PM

Today is the last day to win 2 tickets to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show by letting us know which ad is your favorite. What will it be blue, red or white

10/22/2014 9:15:05 AM

Check it out, we’ve launched our new #CAS15 site! Our favorite new features are the expanded social media feeds. Let us know what you think!: http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/

10/21/2014 12:00:01 PM

Fill In The Blank: My favorite design for #CAS15 is _______ (Red, Blue, White). One fan will win two tickets to the show

10/21/2014 9:04:05 AM

It's time for some more tagline trivia: Which automakers tagline is "The Ultimate Driving Machine"? #TriviaTuesday

10/20/2014 12:01:07 PM

Yes, fall has just begun, but if you're a Chicagoan, you know that means winter is right around the corner. Plan ahead this year and prepare your vehicle for the winter season ahead. We've complied five steps to help you get your vehicle winter-ready. http://bit.ly/1CwkC3r

10/20/2014 10:00:00 AM

Don’t miss your chance to cast your vote for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show design! We’re awarding tickets to one fan a day who selects either red, blue or white

More

10/24/2014 2:12:07 PM

Give up latte a day and upgrade from a Nissan Versa to a Nissan Altima, really. http://t.co/eLOzEdYT4k @ChiAutoShow http://t.co/OE6vfq3Vp3

10/24/2014 12:04:08 PM

This #1907 cartoon ad features the 1907 Pope-Hartford, which sold for $2,750. #FlashbackFriday http://t.co/6Bg344RnEv

10/24/2014 8:45:51 AM

Flashing back to the delicious @Chevrolet #cupcakes we devoured at the 2014 @ChiAutoShow #FlashbackFriday http://t.co/qZJRfuyDEz

10/23/2014 2:57:51 PM

You're welcome @ChiAutoShow! - #GESGlobalTeam

10/23/2014 2:36:02 PM

#ThrowbackThursday to the @Ford robot in 1966 & in 2014! http://t.co/dNAyVB7pkC

10/23/2014 2:34:31 PM

@GESGlobal Thanks for noticing and sharing our new look!

10/23/2014 12:58:02 PM

@ChiAutoShow first look is Friday the 13th?! Spooky :-)

10/23/2014 11:25:43 AM

Daily Motoring News is out! http://t.co/RHXJH0aiJo Stories via @ChiAutoShow @LAPSINC

10/23/2014 10:08:26 AM

The Mustang Milano concept debuted at the 1970 @ChiAutoShow. Guess the design elements used in later models. #TBT http://t.co/M7nV2YqJwp