With the first month of 2011 over, one thing is for sure….optimistic and prosperous are two words being used consistently to describe what lies ahead for the automotive industry. December auto sales wrapped up with 1.1 million units. For all of 2010, U.S. light vehicle sales rose to 11.59 million units, up 11% from 2009 at 10.43 million — when demand fell to the lowest point in 27 years. It was the industry’s first annual U.S. sales gain since 2005 [Automotive News]. So what are the signs that are causing analysts to be so optimistic?