There's a convergence of interesting news about the U.S. auto market today.

First, Reuters reports that Toyota market share surged in the first half of November. Here are the top five's numbers: GM market share 18.8 percent, Toyota 17.9 percent, Ford 15.3 percent, DaimlerChrysler 13.6 percent, Honda 12.2 percent. More telling are the trends year-over-year: GM down 24 percent, Ford down 30 percent, Toyota up 16 percent.

Second, Wall Street guru Jim Cramer (co-founder of titled his Friday syndicated newspaper column "Toyota flies; GM crashes." His thesis? The market is pricing in Toyota's success and GM's failure (see the Toyota NYSE chart above, data current at 12:30 ET). Cramer's take is that the market believes no matter what happens, GM will have to scale back its operations in a big way, either through bankruptcy (not in the cards, according to GM CEO Rick Wagoner) or radical restructuring. Either way, it will come out a smaller player. In my mind, Ford is in the same boat. Who's there to pick up the pieces? Toyota.

Share This Photo X