Industry Report: Automotive

If the automotive industry manages to have a fourth quarter that's merely half as eventful as the first three of 2007 were, then we're in for one hell of a race to the finish line.

If the automotive industry manages to have a fourth quarter that's merely half as eventful as the first three of 2007 were, then we're in for one hell of a race to the finish line. Through the first nine months of the year we have seen everything from strikes, layoffs, plant closings, executive poaching, top marketing executives leaving, company's switching their PR and ad agencies, Chrysler being sold and re-launched, and the title of “world's leading automaker” changing hands from General Motors to Toyota and back to GM again.

To say that it's a pivotal moment for the US auto industry and that it needs to start to turning things around in 2008 is an understatement. Many auto industry analysts are still claiming that American cars are not even on consumer shopping lists because of their lack of innovation and failure to introduce anything exciting. Now would have been the time to start introducing some new models since Toyota has been in a bit of a lapse in that category. But, in the coming months, Toyota will be introducing new models, GM plans to increase its presence overseas, the tentative agreement the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached with Chrysler has hit some snags, and the UAW has its sights set on Ford with the potential for a strike looming rather largely. Other players are looking to regain their footing like Volkswagen, while other like Audi and Subaru are positioning themselves to make a lot of noise in 2008.

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