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]