The year 2014 has been a productive year for U.S. factories. A new report by the U.S. Federal Reserve showed manufacturing output had risen almost five percent over the past year. CCTV’s Bianca Davie reported on what’s moving the industry forward.
US auto industry boosts production by more than 5 percentThe year 2014 has been a productive year for U.S. factories. A new report by the U.S. Federal Reserve showed manufacturing output had risen almost five percent over the past year. CCTV's Bianca Davie reported on what's moving the industry forward.
Economists said car makers and their American customers were driving much of that growth. The U.S. auto industry posted its best November sales numbers in a decade.
“We are expecting to end 2014 with about 16.4 million sales, so we are getting back to that pre-recession peak that we saw of about 17 million units, and the fundamentals are strong in the automotive industry. We are seeing it lead the economic recovery in the U.S. market overall,” said industry expert Eric Lyman.
Economists said the auto sector owed its growth to a healthier labor market and greater consumer confidence. More affordable loans and lower gasoline prices were making people more comfortable with big ticket purchases — including cars.
Cheaper fuel also sparked a shift in the type of cars consumers bought. Industry insiders said new SUVs and pickup trucks were again catching the eyes of U.S. shoppers. And the drop in gas prices, according to some car executives, forced them to rethink their short-term production strategies after years of focusing on hybrids and electric vehicles.
Despite those concerns, the U.S. auto industry was on track for a sixth straight year of growth. Sales were expected to rise 4.5 percent in 2014.
However, economists warned the momentum can’t last forever. They said in order to continue, automakers would need to win over a new generation of car buyers.
Ford Motor Company’s Sherryl Connelly on the current auto industry
Automaker Ford looked into the future and released its Looking Further with Ford 2015 report. To discuss the emerging trends that will impact society and industry, CCTV America interviewed Sherryl Connelly, who is the futurist at Ford Motor Co.