Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Auto Industry: Trust Me, There Are Reasons To Be Optimistic

Yes, gas prices are soaring, SUV values are tanking, and Detroit is bracing for the possibility of more job cuts. But there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the industry. Here are four:

1) Hydrogen fuel cells/electric batteries/hybrids
There is major progress being made with alternative powered cars. Will they be here tomorrow? No, but they're coming. It's not just a pipe dream.

2) Smarter rides
It's not just the electronics in the dash board we see. It's what we don't see. From collision avoidance software to fuel displacement systems, the vehicles we're driving are packed with more features we'll be thankful to have.

3) Cool cars with content
The resurgence of the sedan doesn't mean we're stuck in boring boxes. The cars are coming with more content, cool features, ambient light and better designs.

4) Automakers moving faster
Ten years ago if a market had tanked (like SUVs have) Detroit's automakers would have been slow to do anything. Not anymore. Ford has said it will cut production quickly and avoid building SUVs that will sit in a lot.

GM hasn't said yet if it will follow suit, but you can bet the company won't wait and pray for a market rebound.

Questions?  Comments?