Double-dip recession? Not in this auto boom

Old 08-08-2011, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default Double-dip recession? Not in this auto boom

Somebody forgot to tell the auto industry that the economy is lousy.

Indicators are glum. The fallout from the federal budget crisis is unclear. The stock market tanked last week and commentators have resurrected the term "double-dip recession." Mortgage defaults, unemployment and low consumer spending have economists fretting.

But the auto industry sees things differently.

"We're hiring," proclaims Michael Heneka, president of seating and emissions system supplier Faurecia North America. "We're running 24/7 at all of our North American plants. You'd never know there was any concern out there. I know there is, but we have to keep moving forward."

Heneka will add about 500 people to his North American manufacturing staff of 10,000 by year end.

He recently opened a plant in Louisville, Ky., to supply interior parts to Ford Motor Co. and moved into a plant his company acquired in Lansing, Mich., to triple Faurecia's capacity for General Motors' Cadillac CTS program.

Nissan North America, his newest customer, is adding three models to its U.S. production lineup, and Heneka is angling for a piece of that business.

That's on top of a year when light-vehicle sales are up 11 percent through July, despite severe supply shortages caused by the earthquake in Japan.

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When the car industry got their stimulus money many months ago, many politicians wanted to the the industry go under. Not only have they rebounded, but appear to be doing well. I am glad to see this.
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