- auto industry - Chrysler - Ford - GM - USA
From America through Europe to Asia, the car market has crumbled under the weight of the global financial crisis. In Europe, automakers have been forced to scale back production. In the United States, where one employed American out of 10 is linked to the car industry, even the giants of the auto sector are facing an unprecedented crisis.
When one considers the assembly-line industrial model invented by Henry Ford and copied throughout the world, or the grand proportions of a Cadillac and other shiny-chrome limousines – true visions on wheels – of the last century, it is the auto industry more than any other that has, without a doubt, embodied American power.
Today, its cars are not selling. The high prices for gasoline and the credit crisis have demolished the market. It must be said that US automakers have been technologically surpassed by the Japanese and European competition, which grasped the need to anticipate reversals in the market and to develop vehicles with less voracious appetites for petrol.
The American car industry has a capital: Detroit. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all based their headquarters and main factories around the city. And when the auto sector is wounded, the domino effect can be felt throughout the city. Franck Berruyer and Natacha Butler went to see first-hand the city where everything began – and where it may all end.