As the new Trump Administration takes shape, auto industry leaders will be watching closely to see how it handles a wide range of issues, from fuel economy regulations to tariffs and trade. They’ll also be taking stock of what happened during the eight years when President Barack Obama was in the driver’s seat.
Few presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during the Great Depression, have been in power during a time of such mammoth change for this powerhouse industry. When he first entered the White House in January 2009, all three domestic automakers seemed ready to fail – two ultimately filing for bankruptcy before receiving massive bailouts. Today, the industry is, on the whole, turning record profits.
Obama’s tenure coincided with monumental transformation in an industry that, at one point directly or indirectly employed one in seven Americans. And, observers contend, many of those changes will continue to play out during the years and decades to come, including the emergence of autonomous vehicles and the rise of ride- and car-sharing. (more…)