U.S. car companies say they plan to increase their automotive staffing in the next year, and also say they are planning several expansions to existing facilities to keep pace with rising demand, a recent report suggests.
According to Reuters, the positive news came even amid lower demand for U.S. vehicles in Europe, caused by the lingering financial crisis in the region, as well as pressures that have been put on vehicle prices in the last year. But the auto executives, surveyed by advisory firm KPMG, say they are not deterred by such factors.
"The survey results clearly demonstrate a U.S. automotive industry that is regaining confidence," Gary Silberg, KPMG's national auto industry leader, stated. "Even though the overall economic recovery remains weak, that is not the case in automotive where pent-up demand for vehicles in the U.S. is expected to carry over for years. As a result, auto companies and suppliers are ramping up their hiring and production activities, and investing heavily in new products and facility expansion."
The need for more workers will come as the demand for cars and trucks rises, which has stemmed from car owners who have traded in their older vehicles for newer models. The average age of vehicles is currently at an all-time high, at 11 years, the media outlet stated. Nearly 75 percent of the executives said they expect to increase their payrolls in the coming 12 months, a major increase from the 62 percent who said the same in last year's survey.
According to the news provider, another 67 percent said they have deep pockets of cash that they plan to spend before the end of the year, which will continue to expand the industry.
In what could have been one of the most promising statistics from the report, 63 percent of executives said North America was their number one target for growth, with China coming in second, at 44 percent, and South America at 30 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the motor vehicles and parts manufacturing industry has seen strong growth in the last few months. In April, the workforce was 763,500 people strong, and has since grown to 774,600 in June.