Associated Press Business Writer Tom Krisher makes a few good points about how the Big Three (or 2.5 if you prefer) could stand to learn from Apple's comeback. Well, ok, one good, though not exactly new, point. We've all heard it, if not said it ourselves. It's all about the product. Just like Steve Jobs saved Apple in 1998 with the innovative, highly-desired iMac, American carmakers need their own hotcake vehicle. And in reading Krisher's article, you get the impression GM, Chrysler and Ford have been paying attention.

"I admire (Apple's) pure understanding of the brand and the type of customer they're going after, and married to that, a product and a design strategy that they do not veer off of," said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.'s president of the Americas.

"We're really trying to be more like companies like Apple, where we can innovate and move faster," said Mark LaNeve, vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors Corp.

"I think a fresh, creative mind is something that you can appreciate and focus simply on some complicated things," said Eric Ridenour, chief operating officer of DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group.

So where's the automotive version of the iPhone? Is it GM's Volt? Ford's Interceptor? The Chrysler Nassau? Just like with Apple, only time, and the free market, will tell.

[Source: The Associated Press via Yahoo Finance]