Big Three See Market Share Erode

Companies being told they have to generate products people want and that includes gas-electric hybrids, car-based crossover vehicles with better fuel efficiency, compact cars and full-size pickups, among others.

Published: 02-Jan-2005

DETROIT -- Most veteran forecasters say they expect a familiar sales trend in the U.S. automotive market next year: continued gains by Asian brands at the expense of Detroit's Big Three.

A host of new cars and trucks from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group has failed to stem combined market share losses this year -- a disappointment given Ford's "Year of the Car" hype and GM's industry-leading 29 vehicle introductions.

Meanwhile, Asian automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. have used enhanced lineups to post impressive sales gains. The growth, analysts say, can be attributed in part to their reputations for quality as well as new products -- such as Toyota's Scion brand, which targets younger buyers, and the Nissan Titan, that company's first full-size pickup.


Playing catch-up a decade late, the world's auto giants now find that they have to lease or buy technology from Toyota.

Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.


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