The US auto industry crisis has caused pain for both workers and investors. Workers have been laid off from long-held jobs as bankruptcies mount and cut-backs are made. Investors in auto companies have seen the value of their stockholdings slashed.
However, Government intervention has meant that little has been done to weed out the weak and restore capacity to more sustainable levels. Because of the political sensitivity Governments have become involved but the number of particpants (manufacturers and the like) will most likely not reduce. There is some likelihood of auto makers joining forces to better enable global scale and improve technologies.
One such technology that is benefiting is electric and petrol-electric hybrids. Such vehicles are becoming more desireable by wealthy drivers with BMW, Mercedes and Audi all releasing more environmentally friendly models. More and more hybrids are being fitted with plugs which is moving the consumer away from oil-producing companies and towards utility corporations producing electricity.
But nervousness remains throughout the auto industry. After the completion of the Cash For Clunkers scheme there are few signs of demand from consumer growth leaving some industry analysts to ponder that the next year may be even tougher for the auto industry.