In the spring of 2008, six months before the financial markets would come crashing down, my instincts told me that the economy was about to go into a period of reassessment. But there was no clear indication, at least to those of us in the auto industry, that we were on the brink of economic collapse.
Then, on Sept. 15, we experienced the "Lehman shock," or as they call it in the U.S., the start of the Great Recession. Economic and financial systems all over the world were paralyzed. Even companies on solid financial footing were no longer able to borrow money. Automakers, too, had to face harsh realities, because we needed to move large sums of money to finance purchasing and sales, while also supporting our suppliers.