Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Yes! There Is a Growth Story in the Auto Business

A123 Systems logo

After the last three years and seeing scores of auto plants close down and thousands of plants shut down, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking the auto industry is dead.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, there is quiet, but very important trend developing: auto makers and suppliers adding jobs. The latest coming from battery maker A123, signing a deal this morning to provide batteries for Fisker Automotive. As it puts that deal in action, A123will speed up production at its plant in suburban Detroit, creating 540 jobs.

The A123 news is just the latest among green job announcements.

  • Monday, Ford said it would add 1,000 jobs as it expands its electric vehicle platform in Detroit.
  • Last week, GM opened a battery plant that will eventually employ 100 people

The cynics will say, "Big deal. A few thousand jobs won't make up for the 400,000 auto industry jobs lost in the last decade."


These plant openings are a drop in the bucket compared to what the industry has gone through. But the fact is, the auto industry has bottomed out and is slowly starting to expand again.

  • Chrysler says it will start hiring by the end of the year.
  • GM is looking at bringing back one of the plants it shed as part of its bankruptcy.
  • Tata Technologies in suburban Detroit is hiring 150 people to keep up with its increased workload consulting auto and aerospace companies
  • Several suppliers have indicated they are once again adding, not shedding jobs.

Scoff if you want at the automakers adding a few hundred or a few thousand jobs here and there. Those who have been waiting and hoping for the auto industry to start its comeback will quietly celebrate the recent change of fortunes.


Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:

- Ford Motor 

- Toyota Motor

- Nissan

- Honda Motor


Questions?  Comments?