‘Detroit Three’ start 2011 in a big way

You didn’t have to attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month to appreciate that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are roaring back.

The latest evidence of their comeback came in January’s sales figures, which came out this week. Chrysler’s sales jumped 23 percent over January 2010. GM was up 22 percent, and Ford reported a 13 percent increase. Ford’s numbers would have been much better, if not for a conscious decision to scale back its sales to rental car companies.

Their success continues to bring fresh hope right here in Michigan. In Flint, GM announced last week that it will add 750 jobs to a plant that makes pickup trucks. Other manufacturers that supply the “Detroit Three,” including some in Jackson County, are seeing new orders.

Want another sign of the automakers’ confidence? GM plans to air five ads for Chevrolet during the Super Bowl on Sunday. These will be the company’s first ads during the big game since 2008.