US President Barack Obama has cited Detroit's recovery as one of the major achievements of his administration. The declaration was given at his 4th State of the Union Address, which many analysts considered as the President's one big chance to convince the voting public to keep him in the White House come November. Obama also used the US auto industry to emphasize the importance of revitalizing America's manufacturing capability:
"This blueprint begins with American manufacturing. On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the US than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in US plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back."
You will note that the President made special mention of the Detroit Big Three being back in the game and even on top of the automotive world. Which naturally begs this question: Did American carmakers really do all the recovery on their own, or were they significantly aided by the misfortunes endured by Japanese car companies last year (in particular, the tsunami in Japan and the flooding in Thailand)?
What do you think?