Hiring, Production Up in U.S. Auto Industry

Just ahead of the year's biggest U.S. auto show, Ford and GM announced they will hire more than 3,000 salaried workers this year, according to a Detroit News report. As of October, U.S. manufacturers' light vehicle output in 2012 was about 20 percent above that of the previous year.

The 2013 North American International Auto Show begins Jan. 14 with domestic and international automakers sounding more bullish than they've been in years. The venue and the city are ready for a blockbuster event. More than 6,000 journalists from around the world and more than 750,000 attendees are expected to visit Detroit's Cobo Center during the Jan. 14-27 show, which will open to the public on Jan. 19.

The North American International Auto Show logo

"We sold out everything on the floor and could have sold out a lot more. We've sold every inch of the show. This show is a reflection of the positive changes that are occurring in our industry," said Jim Seavitt, chairman of the 2013 event and owner of Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich. "Automakers from around the world continue to place NAIAS at the top of their global auto show strategies and have committed to more than 50 vehicle debuts, with the majority being worldwide unveilings," he added.

The Detroit News' Karl Henkel reported a new-generation Corvette, a Lincoln concept compact crossover, a "refreshed" Chrysler Grand Cherokee, and Cadillac's plug-in hybrid are among the new debuts. Jaguar Land Rover is returning to the show, and Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group Corp. will exhibit, as well.

Toyota announced Jan. 10 that it set a new record for North American production, 1.78 million vehicles manufactured, in 2012. This number was a 41 percent increase from 2011 and surpassed its previous record, 1.72 million in 2007. Toyota's Furia Concept is making its world debut Jan. 14 at the show.>[?

"Our hotels are filling up, our international media registration is up 15 percent, and the energy is back," Seavitt said. "Our city, state, and industry are in a better place. It's show time in Detroit."

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers recently reported U.S. manufacturers' light vehicle output through October 2012 was 8,543,457, which was 21.7 percent above the number during the same point in 2011. Ford and GM will hire more than 3,000 salaried workers this year, according to a Jan. 11 Detroit News report by Henkel and David Shepardson. Ford plans to hire 2,200 and GM will add about 1,000 jobs in suburban Atlanta, according to their report.

The Detroit Free Press announced Jan. 13 that its second annual Automotive Leadership Awards is honoring General Motors CEO Dan Akerson and Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales USA, as co-winners in the executive leadership category. "Akerson's team has generated profits in North America and China that more than offset ongoing losses in Europe," while Lentz helped Toyota withstand "a gauntlet of regulatory, legal and quality challenges" and recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that disrupted supply chains for months, according to the newspaper's account.

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