We can learn a lot from the past, even if predicting the future is impossible. So, naturally, opinions seem to be all over the lot regarding the auto industry outlook for 2012.
Let’s begin with the optimists. Bloomberg interviewed several people who stressed the fact that auto companies, foreign and domestic, were committing to new plants in the U.S. and quite a number of new jobs. The reasons are, basically, pent-up demand and the increasing cost of labor in China and India. Can you believe it? U.S. labor is competitive!
Toyota is opening a new plant to build Corollas in Mississippi (above) and hiring 1,500 people. Other furriners—Kia, VW, Mercedes, Nissan, Honda and BMW among them—are adding capacity and jobs: 6,350 this year, 3,400 in 2012.
The Detroiters have made contract agreements to restore or create 20,000 U.S. jobs by 2015. Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s North American EVP, is quoted as saying the auto industry “will spur 88,000 more jobs” this year and next.