If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

The Big Three

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on September 23, 2005

It used to be that no one would question you if you referred to GM, Ford, and Chrysler as the Big Three. It has been a number of years now since they actually held the top three slots in auto sales, however. Currently Toyota is in the number two position — behind GM and ahead of Ford.

Let’s take a look at their new-product lineup to see if they have what it takes to pull themselves out of this slump.

I’ll try to focus on models which have already been introduced, simply because none of the automakers have a strong enough advertising campaign to sway the general public’s opinion based on models to come. And — like it or not — it’s the general public, not car guys, that will make or break the American automakers.

From the top.


  • Pontiac Solstice – A beautiful little car, it seems that Mazda has lowered their estimates of how many Miatas (MX-5) they will sell in the US based on this car. That has to be a good thing for GM.
  • Corvette – I’m afraid that Chevrolet could release the greatest car in the world (and I think they came close here), and if they called it a corvette, and most people would still associate it with the gold-chain crowd and not take it seriously.
  • Buick Lucerne – Another Buick
  • Pontiac G6 – Why not just call this the Grand Am. People are familiar with the name. It seems like good enough car.
  • Chevy HHR – PT Cruiser knock-off. It’s even designed by the same guy. Seems to be selling well, though.
  • Chevy Cobat – Should’ve just called it the Cavalier; nothing new here.


  • Mustang – Ford knocked it out of the park with the 2005 mustang. A civilized car in base form and a performance bargain in GT guise.
  • Ford 500 – A nice solid full-size car. Looks smaller than it is.


  • 300 – A smashing success. Large, roomy, affordable, and available with 425 horsepower. Not to mention it’s one of the best looking cars on the road.
  • Dodge Magnum – This car probably changed the minds of many people who would have never considered buying a station wagon.
  • Dodge Charger – A nice car, but not really any different than the Magnum. In fact, the Magnum probably should have been the Charger wagon.
  • Chrysler Crossfire – An absolutely stunning automobile. Rather pricey, but every automaker needs a car that looks this good.

It appears that GM has almost nothing going for them. Ford has the Mustang, which might just be enough. Chrysler has a nice line-up. It mostly consists of one car, the 300/Charger/Magnum, but the company managed to differentiage the individual models enough that most people won’t notice.

I realize that this discussion completely left out the truck and SUV market, which could have had a major effect.


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