I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to help kick off the 2010 Detroit Auto Show this morning. But the big news today is not about any particular vehicle.
The biggest buzz? Industry growth. Growth in sales, growth in production, growth in jobs.
From hybrids and electrics to safer small cars and more fuel-efficient trucks, Detroit is making what Americans want to drive.
We are in a whole different world than we were a year ago for the U.S. auto industry.
The new models and technological enhancements unveiled today are the products of some of the sharpest engineering minds on the planet, and that should give us great confidence in the bright future ahead.
And, yes, I am proud to be part of an Administration committed to helping the American automobile manufacturing industry rebuild even further and grow even stronger. No President has ever demonstrated as strong a commitment to recharging this industry as President Obama.
And that commitment has delivered results:
- GM and Chrysler have emerged from restructuring as viable companies, managed by top-flight executives and overseen by world-class boards of directors. And that restructuring saved hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
- Late last year, GM began repaying its $6.7 billion from the US Treasury.
- Chrysler has focused on streamlining its product lines and incorporating cutting-edge technological advances from Fiat.
- Rounding out the Big 3, Ford's Fusion hybrid has won the show's award for top car and the Ford Transit Connect took best truck honors.
- The Consumer Automobile Rebate System, or Cash for Clunkers, helped stimulate American interest in newer car models with a wildly successful incentive program. This program spurred demand and eventually production, accounting for an increase equivalent to over 21,000 jobs.
- Auto sales are up and look promising for the coming year.
Now, we all know the auto industry has learned some tough lessons. But from what I've seen at the auto show today, they have gotten the message and they are making cars that Americans want.
Amid all the cool technology and hot designs in Detroit, that new attitude and outlook are what’s really on display.