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The U S auto industrys share of the market has experienced fluctuations over the past 50 years These fluctuations have been caused by many reasons but some of the main reasons include quality price and foreign competition The Ford Motor Company General Motors Company and the Chrysler Corporation aka The Big Three are the three largest manufacturers of automobiles in the world The Big Three hold nearly 75 of the market and produce over 8 million automobiles per year The largest competitors of The Big Three are Japanese auto producers that include Toyota Nissan and Honda These three foreign manufacturers hold 20 of the market and produce about 27 million automobiles per year General Motors Company the worlds largest automobile producer originally was composed of four major vehicle manufacturers- Buick Cadillac Oldsmobile and Oakland which became Pontiac Presently General Motors is made up of Buick Cadillac Oldsmobile Chevrolet Pontiac and Saturn During the first thirty years of operation GMs only major competition was from U S manufacturers However since the first foreign truck was imported from Japan in 1956 GMs share of the market began to decline Foreign cars were smaller more fuel efficient less expensive and often more reliable than their American counterparts General Motors market share dipped from nearly 44 in 1973 to below 30 in 1985 In response to this sudden drop in its share of the market GM founded the Saturn Company Saturn produces compact cars very similar to Japanese imports at competitive prices This response halted GMs declining share of the market Today General Motors maintains about 30 of the market General Motors was the first large auto company to begin research on alternative fuel sources and continues to lead the way Some developments of this research include the first production natural gas engine and the first car powered completely by electricity Many ideas are still in the process of being developed such as affordable solar powered vehicles
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