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As we reported in our By the Numbers post earlier today, last month nearly every automaker, import and domestics alike, had a tough time selling cars. The domestics, including General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group., had it tougher, however, and for the first time in the automotive industry's 102-year history, the Big 3's market share fell below that of the imported brands combined. The official tally according to Automotive News was 629,569 units sold by the Big 3 and 679,523 units sold by the imports. That works out to a 48.6% market share for the domestics and a 51.4% share for the imports.
Shall we all cry in our travel mugs that our beloved automakers from downtown Detroit, Dearborn and Auburn Hills have lost their leading role in the U.S. market? Hardly, we say. All three domestic heavyweights have realized that bouncing back from their financial doldrums requires ditching their excess and paring down to the essentials. With fleet sales drastically reduced and resources diverted to programs that will bear fruit a few years out, we all know their sales are going to fall, in some cases drastically. Nevertheless, their loss in size and sales will allow each to focus on product more in an environment where what's on the sales floor is all that matters.

And don't fret, the Big 3 still retain majority market share in the U.S. year-to-date. This was just one bad month of sales. One really bad month.

[Source: Automotive News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unions is the problem!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Such a shame to see the market slowly turn like this...

      • 7 Years Ago
      "How did they define import and domestic? Is the Fusion an import? What about those GMs made in Canada or the Toyota Tundra?"

      Again this argument is selling well with congress. Lots and lots of lobbyist are using it.
      Answer is simple:

      Where are the headquarters, the parts suppliers and also the research and design center. You have to add this all up to discover the truth.

      Toyota is Japanese
      Honda is Japanese
      Mazda is Japanese
      Hyundai is Korean
      Kia is Korean
      Nissan is Japanese
      BMW is German
      Mercedes is German

      I hope this will help clarify the question.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ”Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

      Build a lousy mousetrap and the world will beat a path in the opposite direction, as the domestic automakers are learning.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't read too far into it. They are talking about company owned not the individual car breakdown as being domestic/import. Ford owns a controlling stake in Mazda, they don't own Mazda. So even though the Tundra is built here it still is an import. The Fusion is a domestic even though it was assembled in Mexico.

      On another note, the little lady and I are shopping around for a replacement for the 325 convertible, and we are trying to be fair to everyone so we are looking at every brand with a convertible under 50k. So far we've looked at Saturn, Pontiac, Mitsu, Volvo, Toyota, VW, Ford, and BMW. The Sky and Eos so far are in the top 3 behind our fav 328. We looked at Z4's and I was surprised that the window sticker said it only contained 5% content from the US with it being assembled in Spartanburg SC. (15 minutes from where I grew up) I really thought the content was higher.

      Oh, out of all the dealerships, BMW & Saturn were the most knowledgeable about their cars and VW putting the least amount of pressure to buy right away. The biggest turn-off would have to be Mitsu 07 GT V6 Spyder going from 29k to 22k after we repeatedly told the salesman & sales manager we weren't looking to purchase until we checked everything out. The guy literally chased us down before we walked onto the Ford dealership lot. Toyota acted like smelled and didn't wanted to be bothered with us. (That's ok the Solara looks fat anway) Honda guys were super nice but the only had one S2000 and they said it was going to be the last year for production. I didn't really like the 80's digital dash or the left side start button.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota Tundra 23,150m up 125.1 percent

      That is shocking. The Dodge ram sold only 6162 more units.

      It outsold the Impala.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure glad the "Big Three" are losing to the Japanese. The domestics have had enough time, and didn't do anything about it. Never will I buy another domestic. I support Japan only.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have an idea...MOVE THERE, and then you'll be right in the heart of it
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just to clarify here...'imports' include all cars that are not domestic. The big three are being outsold by a combination of cars from Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. It is therefore wrong to say that Japanese cars are beating the Big 3.

      Just read the article again and that basically sums everything up: US domestic sales are down because the Big 3 are shedding their extra pounds and are refocusing. This is good for everyone because the Big 3 is producing better products which will create more competition which results in better cars for all of us! So stop screaming at each other and enjoy the fact that both American AND Foreign cars are likely to continue getting even better.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Unfortunately for US domestics it will take a lot more bad news to finally get rid of the UAW.

      Once the UAW is gone the US domestics will prosper.

      Why would any Republican buy a car from a company where the UAW supports liberal Democrats and their agendas?

      No true conservative can support a union made product.

      The true power of an American firm will be understood once the American consumer has a choice to buy a domestic non-union product.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You guys are overreacting. It's simply the housing market being a drag on pick-up trucks, coupled with higher gas/energy, and food prices being a drag on auto sales. When people are going through foreclosure (up 84% since 2005), last thing on their mind is buying a brand new car. However, smaller cars are still selling...looking at the Versa, Sentra, Civic, Yaris, 3, etc etc.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually GM's number of Retail sales to actual customers, not fleets and compannies are up significantly. Perhaps a silver lining. Who thought Toyota would put $ 3000 on the hood of the new Tundra. They used to accuse GM of ruining profits by placing incentives on vehicles.
        • 7 Years Ago
        retail sales are up from last month, not last july though
      • 7 Years Ago
      There has to be at one point when there are to many cars being built. Every year has to exceed the previous, even when cars are made to last much longer.
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