Do Americans Still Love Cars?

The Great Recession changed driving habits across the nation. Due to several factors, the country’s interest in cars took a backseat to other priorities. However, signs are emerging that Americans still love cars.

The recession technically began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. This period marked a notable peak in the auto industry. In 2008, the number of light-duty vehicles maxed out at 236.4 million, compared to 233.8 million vehicles in 2011, according to a new paper by University Of Michigan researcher Michael Sivak.

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Higher unemployment levels and stagnant wages have been weighing on consumers in recent years, but the auto industry hit speed bumps before the economy changed gears. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of vehicles per person, per licensed driver, and per household all reached highs that have yet to be recaptured.

Despite the setback, Sivak believes population growth in the United States will eventually led to the number of light-duty vehicles surpassing its peak made in 2008.