John K. Teahen, Jr. of Automotive News takes this naming issue head on. He points out that many news sources continue to refer to Chrysler as part of the “Big 3” today even though Daimler-Benz purchased the company in the late Nineties as a nod to the fact that Chrysler is the third biggest seller in the U.S.
But that has all changed with Toyota surpassing Chrysler’s sales. Teahen questions further limiting the “Big 3” designation to the domestic manufacturers or even to only three automakers. He finally offers the “Big 6” a short term fix in reference to GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, which together accounted for 85% of all new cars sales in the U.S. last year. Is that "Big" enough for you?