Germany’s auto industry jobs boom comes to a halt

After a week in which Daimler and Audi announced thousands of job cuts, it’s easy to forget that the German car industry once seemed unassailable.

The 2009 recession forced a massive downsizing of America’s auto giants. General Motors and Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Ford escaped a similar fate only by cutting its workforce to the bone.

By contrast, Volkswagen Group, BMW and Mercedes-Benz overcame the crisis with barely a scratch. Afterwards they took full advantage as wealthy Chinese spent on luxury German vehicles. Germany’s automakers and their suppliers went on a hiring spree at home and abroad.