Automotive steers back from the brink


To fully appreciate the North American automotive resurgence that began in 2010 and is continuing into 2011, it's helpful to recount the industry's darkest days in the spring of 2009.

In March of that year, an A.T. Kearney survey of 60 top North American auto parts suppliers found that more than half could file for bankruptcy protection that year, resulting in at least 1 million job losses. Then, on April 30, Chrysler declared bankruptcy, and was followed almost exactly one month later by fellow "Big Three" OEM, General Motors, which filed on June 1.

By the time 2009 was over, 27 automotive suppliers had gone bankrupt, as light vehicle production in North America registered just 8.5 million units, freefalling from 2008 figures by 4.1 million units or 32.4%. Today after driving to the very brink of the abyss, the industry has reversed out and on the road to growth once again....
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