It's official. The comeback that has followed the bottoming out of auto sales in 2009 has some serious legs.
In fact, it's the longest-lasting post-recession sales rebound in modern history, outpacing the 1983-86 and 1992-94 upturns. Automakers had hoped for a V-shaped recovery. Instead, it's starting to look like a hockey stick.
The industry is now in its fifth year of solid growth, and some forecasters talk about 17 million sales in 2015. Thus, a six-year run of good times.
The recovery in the 1980s was slowing by its fourth year, and in 1987, sales fell 7 percent. The 1990s recovery lasted just three years before sales sagged again.