The overall import and export of vehicles for the United States.
The overall import and export of vehicles for the United States.  

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Optimism on Display at 2009 Auto Show
Published Monday, April 13th, 2009

At the 2009 New York International Auto Show, the future of the car industry was on display, all hope and optimism. What was not there, at least not on display, was the depressing trade numbers or the news that bankruptcy may loom for some automakers. In fact, the news of a year-to-year 37% drop in sales amounted to a sign of recovery. Chrysler, who faces bankruptcy at the end of the month, is working tirelessly on negotiations with the UWA for waived benefits and reduced creditor returns. If the car company cannot achieve this, the federal government has made clear that it will not receive any more money. An alliance with Fiat, the Italian manufacturer, seems to be almost finalized as members of the press arrived on stage in a blue Fiat Cinquecento. However, Chrysler’s only product launch was the updated Jeep Cherokee, which now gets 20 mpg, significantly better than its older model but not the car of the future.

When Congress and President Obama rejected the automakers’ initial restructuring plans, the President stated, “Year after year, decade after decade, we have seen problems papered over and tough choices kicked down the road, even as foreign competitors outpaced us. We have reached the end of that road.” Accordingly, the ratio between vehicles imports and exports has risen from 1.28 to 1 in 1990 to 1.69 to 1 in 2005, which accounts to a $135.3 billion US trade loss.

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U.S.Trends in Trade Data - http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/auto/domestic/tradetrends3.pdf
The United States' international trade in road motor vehicles has produced a large and growing deficit, one that has more than doubled in the past decade and growing.

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Safecar.gov - http://www.safercar.gov/
Safecar.gov is the premier source of vehicle safety information from the government, serving the public interest.