Big Three Counting on Cars to Win Back Market

Automakers introduce 61 new or redesigned models, up from just 17 in 2001

Published: 05-Jan-2004

Detroit -- As the Big Three auto makers kicked off the year of the passenger car Sunday, their offshore-based rivals unveiled plans to step up their assault on the truck market -- the last bastion of profitability for the Chrysler group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp.

Chrysler, Ford and GM hope the cars they began showing off Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit will win them back buyers in the United States and Canada who have abandoned their sedans and coupes in favour of Toyota Camrys, Honda Accords and Nissan Altimas and Maximas.

The Big Three have watched their share dwindle -- to less than 45 per cent of the North American passenger car market amid steady gains by Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Toyota Motor Corp. and auto makers from South Korea and Europe.

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