On balance, President Donald Trump has been tremendously positive for the U.S. auto industry.
Less than a month before President Trump was inaugurated, I spoke at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit and warned that, after back-to-back years of record auto sales, the industry was on the cusp of the first slowdown since the Great Recession. Since ours is a cyclical business, I knew that years of 17-million-plus annual sales couldn’t last forever.
And then a funny thing happened. The headwinds I was seeing eased. The economy, already doing well, really started to gain steam. Jobs were being created at a healthy rate, and unemployment continued to fall. Consumer confidence was up. And the demand for new vehicles remained strong—so much so that in 2017 we had our third consecutive year of new-vehicle sales topping 17 million.
Then came the Tax Cuts and…
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