The auto industry has given the U.S. economy a major lift in recent months, GM chairman and chief executive officer Dan Akerson told new graduates of the Columbia University’s business school.
That’s a big shift from just a few years ago, when it was one of the forces of economic decline. And Akerson’s speech clearly was aimed at convincing the best-and-brightest of the school’s students that they should be taking a closer look at Detroit as they begin their promising careers.
“The auto industry has gone from being an anchor on the economy to being the wind in its sails… in fact, we’re one of the few bright spots,” said Akerson, who joined GM after it emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy. “We’re adding jobs and investing in America, just as America invested in us.”
Since mid-2009, GM has announced investments of more than $7.1 billion in 30 U.S. facilities and created or retained nearly 18,000 American jobs, the executive noted
“No one, not even the most enthusiastic supporters, predicted this three years ago: The auto industry is adding jobs and driving the economy again,” Akerson said. “And that’s because two very different Administrations both had the wisdom to understand how important the auto industry is to our economy, and had the courage to act.