Just less than a year ago, the Big 3 domestic automakers' combined market share dropped to less than 50-percent of the overall automobile market. That sobering statistic was made factual when the combined sales of vehicles from both Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, were combined with sales from European companies, like Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It seems that this sad state of affairs did little to stop the bleeding coming from Detroit, as last month marks the first time in history that Asian automakers alone, with a combined share of 47.8-percent, sold more vehicles in the United States than companies actually based there. Ouch.

Large pickup trucks and SUV's have long been the last stronghold for Detroit's struggling automakers. While the Big 3 still have a commanding lead in sales of these large vehicles, it's the smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles which are taking the largest bite from the overall market share pie. Record-high fuel prices have put such a damper on truck sales that a shocking five vehicles outsold the F-150 last month, all of them highly practical sedans. It seems easy to see, then, where Detroit should be spending what engineering dollars it has left.

[Source: The Detroit News]