The recession is over, say economists from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., according to this week’s edition of Automotive News.
In fact, GM and Ford are raising U.S. vehicle sales forecasts for 2002 on the strength of continuing consumer confidence, falling unemployment and the need to restock slim dealer inventories.
But all three domestic auto makers caution that yellow flags still are visible, including Japan’s weak economy, restrained corporate capital spending and the uncertainty arising from the war on terrorism.
“We clearly seem to have a global recovery under way with the United States leading,” G. Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist, told the auto industry trade weekly. “One of the interesting things about the economy over the last six months is that the experts were a lot more pessimistic than the general public.”
Moving out of the recession that began in March of last year will intensify the market share fight in the U.S. as the Big 3 struggle to fend off gains by international brands, Automotive News staff reporter Mary Connelly observes.
Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler Group, for its part, remains more conservative in its outlook, saying that it feels the recession is close to being over, but that more data is needed.