Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the time frame for the executives' predictions. The predictions cover the next five years.
After two of the worst years in U.S. auto industry history, the Detroit 3 are looking more promising to industry executives around the world.
A new opinion survey just released by the auditing and tax consulting firm tax KPMG LLP finds that 43 percent of those questioned believe that Ford Motor Co.'s market share will rise over the next five years, compared to just 29 percent of those surveyed last year.
Last year, KPMG found that just 13 percent of the industry executives surveyed believed General Motors Co. would see an increase in market share. This year, 40 percent of the executives predicted a rise in GM share.
The survey says 24 percent now predict a rise in Chrysler market share, up from only 7.5 percent last year.
The annual KPMG survey gauges the opinions of 200 industry leaders in Europe, Asia and North America.
Only time will tell whether the Detroit 3 live up to those predictions. But the change in global perception is what is most significant, said Gary Silberg, national auto industry leader for KPMG in Chicago.
“That's a remarkable change in perceptions in just one year,” Silberg said in an interview. “We're seeing a great deal of optimism about the Detroit 3 now.”
Perceptions matter in the auto industry, since they influence decisions on finance, supplier agreements and dealer commitments. GM, which declared bankruptcy in 2009, recently executed a public stock offering that generated $23 billion in new funds.
The opinion poll also found that:
• 64 percent believe there will be increased merger and acquisition activity among vehicle manufacturers.
• 62 percent predict more mergers and acquisitions among Tier 1 suppliers.
• 46 percent expect to see more mergers and acquisition among auto dealers.