Publication Date



[Excerpt] This report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2009 crisis in the U.S. auto industry and its prospects for regaining domestic and global competitiveness. It also analyzes business and policy issues arising from the unprecedented restructurings that occurred within the industry. The starting point for this analysis is June-July 2009, with General Motors Company (GM or new GM) and Chrysler Group LLC (or new Chrysler) incorporated as new companies, having selectively acquired many, but not all, assets from their predecessor companies.

The year 2009 was marked by recession and a crisis in global credit markets; the bankruptcy of General Motors Corporation and Chrysler LLC; the incorporation of successor companies under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury; hundreds of parts supplier bankruptcies; plant closings and worker buyouts; the cash-for-clunkers program; and increasing production and sales at year’s end. This report also examines the relative successes of the Ford Motor Company and the increasing presence of foreign-owned original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), foreign-owned parts manufacturers, competition from imported vehicles, and a serious buildup of global overcapacity that potentially threatens the recovery of the major U.S. domestic producers. This report, which establishes a context for examining the industry and analyzes a unique but highly specific period in the U.S. automobile industry’s history, will not be updated.


Suggested Citation
Canis, B. & Yacobucci, B. D. (2010). The U.S. motor vehicle industry: Confronting a new dynamic in the global economy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.