In his New York Times column this week, Adam Davidson describes the surprising optimism surrounding auto manufacturing in America. He writes:
...Many Americans are driving really, really old cars. The average passenger vehicle is now 11 years old — making this the oldest fleet ever — and the percentage being junked has been at near record lows. One manufacturer recently told me that he was selling parts that few cars previously lived long enough to need....
All these potential customers make the U.S. auto industry believe that 2015 is going to be the year that things finally get back to normal. And despite a steady stream of numbingly grim economic news, it is already doubling down on its future. "Volkswagen just opened a new plant in Chattanooga — they're already talking about expanding," Pratt told me, noting that the company plans to more than double its North American sales, to 800,000, in the next few years. "Honda announced they're expanding production in Greensburg, Ind. Kia recently expanded in Georgia and Hyundai in Alabama."