U.S. car companies continue to post impressive results since General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. Their performance validates the federal bailout of both automakers.
Chrysler has recorded a 22 percent domestic sales increase this year over the same period of 2011. One of its vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler, posted record monthly sales in September, October and November.
Chrysler's profit was up 80 percent in the third quarter of 2012 over the year-ago quarter. The automaker's revamped product line includes more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Some analysts say Americans are more willing to buy new cars and trucks because they're regaining confidence in the economy. The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is approaching a record 11 years.
Yet the auto industry's improved fortunes are threatened by the deadlock in Washington over the fiscal cliff, which could revive the recession, middle-class tax increases and higher unemployment.
Chrysler has added hundreds of jobs in recent months, although many of them don't pay the same high hourly rates of years ago. Still, since it emerged from bankruptcy, Chrysler has hired about 13,000 workers worldwide. Two-thirds of its 63,000 global workers are in the United States.
Its comeback, and that of the U.S. auto industry, remains a success story worth celebrating.