According to analyst Adam Jonas of investment bank Morgan Stanley, the US car market has already bottomed and now looks poised for a very strong rebound.

"Even without any further government stimulus, we expect the US light vehicle market to grow 16 percent in 2010 to 12.8m units," Jonas said in a research note.

A rapidly recovering US market would be good news in particular for Renault (via its Nissan shareholding) and airbag maker Autoliv, which Jonas says derives almost 25% of its revenue from the US.

Other analysts have noted that while some underlying market factors point to a recovery, the continuing ill health of the US economy could make it a weak one.