A few years ago, American automakers cut tens of thousands of jobs and shut dozens of factories simply to survive.
But since recession ended and General Motors and Chrysler began to recover with the help of hefty government bailouts and bankruptcy filings, all three Detroit car companies including Ford Motor Company have achieved one of the unlikeliest comebacks among industries devastated during the financial crisis.
Now steadily rising auto sales and two-tier wage concessions from labour have spurred a wave of new manufacturing investments and hiring by the three Detroit automakers in the US. The latest development occurred on Thursday, when Ford said it was adding 450 jobs and expanding what had been a beleaguered engine plant in Ohio to feed the growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars and SUV's in the American market.
The biggest factor in the revival has been the need by consumers to replace aging, gas-guzzling models.
The auto manufacturing sector employed 1.1 million people in the US as recently as 1999, according to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Employment dropped as low as 560,000 in 2009. Since then, about 90,000 jobs have been added, the report said.