Years ago, people would never have believed that the "Big Three" would ever be dislodged from their position at the top. Industry experts had always talked about Toyota Motor Sales USA possibly taking the third spot from Chrysler Group with regards to annual sales. It appears now that you can't ever be sure of predictions and estimates.
In 2006, Toyota did take that spot and there are no indications that Toyota will be losing its lead over Ford Motor Co. this year. In addition, other Asian brands are solidifying market share gains in this market. For a time, it had been about Toyota competing against the "Big Three."
However, it is getting clearer that this will all change. Within a month, American Honda will overtake Chrysler Group to become the No. 4 automaker in the US. Through November, American Honda had sold 1.044 million units, holding a 200,000-unit lead over Chrysler. In November 2008, Chrysler led Honda by 21,000 units and achieved a 25,000-unit victory at year's end.
Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham said the company is aware that it has fallen behind Honda in sales. Nonetheless, she states that Chrysler officials believe the situation is temporary. Graham said that steps have been taken to "have a good foundation and to build consumer confidence." Graham confirmed that Chrysler's increased ad spending, which started last month, should give sales a boost.