Inside Cobo Center in Detroit, thousands of automotive journalists and auto industry figures are gathered this week for the annual North American International Auto Show. It’s a chance for companies to show their wares, thump their chests and try to set the tone for the year to come.
The industry needs 2011 to be strong. Auto sales figures for 2010 showed a tepid recovery underway from the dismal levels of 2009. Auto sales are still down more than 30 percent from the levels of the middle of the last decade, and it’s tough to see a comeback happening much faster until the unemployment rate eases and the demand for housing picks up.
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