Another day, another disturbingly bad news story for domestic car makers. The combined market share of the Big Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) have, for the first time, fallen below one third in California, the biggest market in the U.S. The three companies combined to sell 31.4% of all new cars that changed hands in the state, according to data gathered by R.L. Polk & Co.
The biggest benefactor of the pathetic American performance was, not surprisingly, Toyota. The Japanese giant sold more cars than Ford and GM combined. Their market share jumped 2.6 points to 26.7%. That’s the first time that Toyota has held more than a quarter of the market. By contrast, GM lost 2.1 points to hit 14.4%.
California is an important indicator for two reasons – it is bigger than Canada is, so it is a significant market, and it gives a representation of what trends are emerging across the country.