Multimedia

Chicago Auto Show Blog

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 #CAS16

Blog

More

Friday, August, 19, 2016

Stunning Concepts Headline Monterey Car Week

Two stunning concepts headline Monterey Car Week - a 7-day car orgy featuring the Pebble Beach Concours ...

Monday, August, 15, 2016

Nissan Reveals Pricing for 2017 Armada

Today, Nissan announced pricing for its all-new 2017 Armada – a full-size SUV that made its global debut at ...

Monday, August, 01, 2016

Mercedes-Benz Expands WORKER Line to Metris

On the heels of the Sprinter WORKER reveal at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has announced an expansion ...

Tuesday, July, 26, 2016

A Guide to Safety Features in Cars Today

Safety technology has evolved since the standard seat belt was included in most automobiles around the 1960s. ...

Wednesday, July, 13, 2016

Chrysler Says, "Hack Away!"

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is offering a "bug bounty" financial reward for discovery of potential vehicle ...

Friday, June, 24, 2016

A Day at the Park, Ridgeline Style

  Honda introduced Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) members to the new 2017 Ridgeline truck ...

Thursday, June, 02, 2016

MAMA Spring Rally Roundup

Each spring, car manufacturers and auto writers flock to Elkhart Lake, Wis. to partake in the annual, ...

Friday, May, 27, 2016

Racing's Greatest Weekend

Memorial Day, time to sit back, enjoy the smell of new-mown grass, remember those who fought so hard to protect our ...

Thursday, May, 19, 2016

Nissan Leaf Charged Up for 2016

While the completely redesigned Chevrolet Volt and soon-to-be produced Bolt garner most of the electric-car media ...

Friday, May, 13, 2016

Ford GT a Sellout!

Ford received 6,506 fully completed applications from people around the world in the one-month window to apply to ...

More

8/5/2016 3:18:01 PM

CAS Fans, what do you think? - via Chicago Tribune Cars

8/3/2016 12:52:46 PM

Busy morning planning for #CAS17! #Mitsubishi #Mazda

8/2/2016 2:32:45 PM

Guess who we're meeting with to start planning for #CAS17? #CAS15Debut

8/2/2016 10:53:03 AM

What three trucks debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 2016? #TriviaTuesday

8/2/2016 8:17:32 AM

On the heels of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter WORKER reveal at #CAS16, the brand just announced the Metris

8/1/2016 9:51:02 AM

Give something new a try this week! #MondayMotivation

7/29/2016 10:03:02 AM

We love this old vs. new picture from @automobile_nation! #FanFriday #chevrolet

7/28/2016 1:30:14 PM

Congrats well deserved

7/28/2016 10:31:02 AM

Guess That Grille! Can you guess which car from #CAS16 this grille belongs to

7/28/2016 10:16:55 AM

The Chicago Auto Show Changed their cover photo.

More

8/22/2016 7:45:00 AM

Did these 7 things from #CAS16 change your life (really)? https://t.co/MVxrSleq4k - via @SheBuysCars

8/20/2016 3:11:14 AM

RT @MagicofKeelan: Cruise Night Magic CHECK IT OUT!!! @amymarieg @GnarlyJargon @TopGear_BBCA @CARandDRIVER @ChiAutoShow https://t.co/D4ysr

8/19/2016 3:37:28 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Charlie Brown & the Peanuts characters promoted the Ford Falcon 4-door sedan in 1961. #MondayMotivation #Flashback https:/

8/19/2016 3:23:35 PM

Cruise Night Magic CHECK IT OUT!!! @amymarieg @GnarlyJargon @TopGear_BBCA @CARandDRIVER @ChiAutoShow https://t.co/D4ysrhlWL1

8/19/2016 2:44:44 PM

80 Chicagoland new-car dealers set new record, raise $160,000 for the @USO_of_Illinois & local #troops! https://t.co/0R9nFbNC0g #BBQ4Troops

8/19/2016 2:43:07 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: Stunning Concepts Headline Monterey Car Week: https://t.co/BakD4mT0pv #PebbleBeach #PebbleConcours

8/19/2016 2:21:20 PM

Stunning Concepts Headline Monterey Car Week: https://t.co/BakD4mT0pv #PebbleBeach #PebbleConcours

8/19/2016 11:28:14 AM

The latest Daily Motoring News! https://t.co/C639wmtelo Thanks to @ChiAutoShow @LAPSINC #m3 #denali

8/19/2016 9:17:12 AM

Big news from @VolvoCarUSA & @Uber: https://t.co/BzFlA1Vsnx

8/18/2016 2:04:46 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: . @Ford plans to have fully-autonomous cars on the road in 5 years: https://t.co/DYzwpX8f5k