I've seen the stories in many publications, including Automotive News: Cars are making a comeback.
As a car lover, I should climb up on my desk and dance an Irish jig. But I'm still seated, and I'm not dancing. Because I don't agree with those stories.
Sure, the Big 3 are paying more attention to cars; they realize they have ignored that vital segment of the market for far too long. But I don't think the steps the Big 3 are taking will make up for the years of neglect.
Here's what I'm getting at: Several new nameplates will enliven the car market in the next few years, but none will be high-volume (100,000 U.S. sales a year or more) autos. Ford has a GT sports car, 1,000 sales at the most. The Thunderbird is already here. It's a beauty, but it's not selling. The goal was 25,000 a year; last year's total was 19,085.
Ford will add the Five Hundred sedan, but it will not be a high-volume car. And there is talk that the Taurus will become a fleet model and will fade away eventually. Ouch! Ford sold 332,690 Taurus cars last year.
It's the same elsewhere.
Pontiac is excited about the return of the GTO, but the new performance car from Australia is pegged at 18,000 sales a year - a drop in the bucket.
And Chevrolet's Impala SS will be a plaything for the vroom-vroom set.
GM's Epsilon cars (Chevy Malibu, Pontiac Grand Am) should sell in volume, but they will be replacements for cars that have sold well in the past. They won't give car volume a big boost. Likewise the GM Delta class (Chevrolet Cavalier).
To me, a car comeback means new high-volume machines that will push cars ahead of trucks in the annual battle for sales supremacy. I do not see that happening.