There are new signs of hope coming out of devastated Detroit.
As the Detroit Auto Show gears up this week, there is renewed optimism about the future of the U.S. auto industry.
Ford Motor Co., which made a big splash at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, is expected to roll out its C-Car platform ("C" for compact) during the auto show. Also known as Ford's World Car, the new Ford Fusion will be based on a single platform and will be marketed to the global auto market, not just U.S. drivers.
That's a fundamental change in the way a U.S. auto maker operates, and, if successful, would allow Ford to compete against Toyota in growing auto markets around the world.
There are other signs of a recovery in Detroit. One is the reemergence of a business incubator operated by Wayne State University called TechTown. The business incubator is focusing on generating job growth in a state devastated by unemployment by nurturing small technology startups.
One startup backed by TechTown, Ellison Corp., is developing a traffic signaling system based on patented technology. The founder is a former Ford assembly worker.
Together, these and other efforts big and small are pulling the U.S. auto industry out of its worst recession. What emerges will likely be a far more agile auto sector that reaches out to the global market rather than the other way around.