Last year was a record year for the auto industry, which seems to have finally bounced back from bailouts and recession woes. Americans were out in full force buying new cars and trucks, a far cry from the near hopeless automotive sector of 2008. The most popular vehicle of the year proved to be Ford’s F-150 truck, which sold 763,402 models in 2013, about 40% of the entire truck market. Overall, 15.6 million vehicles were purchased in the U.S., prompting an 8% increase in auto sales year over year. These strong sales were not only good for the automakers themselves, but our economy as a whole.
Jerry Hirsch of the LA Times notes that “Car companies and parts manufacturers have added more than 173,000 jobs over the last four years and now employ more than 826,000 workers in the U.S., according to federal jobs reports. That’s still down from the 1.1 million before the recession, but it represents vital growth, economists said.” That’s big news for a nation that has been struggling with unemployment for the better half of a decade. More demand has sparked production across the country, employing workers and bringing new business to manufacturers throughout the supply chain. Interest in new cars and trucks does not seem to be waning either: this year’s Detroit Auto Show had the highest attendance record in its history.