DETROIT (May 23, 1:55 p.m. ET) — Auto industry executives are bullish on the economic recovery, according to a new survey.
Ninety-four percent of automaker executives and 92 percent of supplier executives surveyed said business was “somewhat better” or “much better” than last year, according to the study by international consulting firm Booz & Co.
The study was conducted somewhat differently last year.
In the 2011 version, 97 percent of automaker and supplier executives said the industry was faring “about the same” or “somewhat better” than in January 2009. No respondents in last year's survey said business was “much better.”
Higher demand — driven by increased consumer confidence, easier access to credit, popular vehicles and other factors — coupled with automaker and supplier efforts during the depths of the economic downturn to rid their balance sheets of excess assets, has put the industry in a place to grow and profit, Booz & Co. partner Brian Collie said.
According to 88 percent of executives surveyed, Hyundai/Kia is the automaker most likely to increase its market share over the next five years, while 86 percent of suppliers and 72 percent of automakers surveyed said the believe that the Detroit 3 will maintain or improve their market share over the next year.
In February and March, Booz & Co. surveyed more than 200 executives from more than 75 auto manufacturers and suppliers, more than half of whom were vice presidents or higher.
A complete version of this story is available at www.autonews.com.