Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Last week I wrote about the end of the SUV Profit Party. Really that is predicting the past, which is pretty easy to do. The profit party was over a few years ago, its just obvious to everyone now, except perhaps a few executives in Detroit.

Today I am going to explain what I think is almost as obvious about the future. Over the next 5 years Detroit will see the Japanese start eating a bigger and bigger share of the US truck market. With full size pickups Toyota and Nissan are already starting to make serious in roads in the pickup truck market. The Toyota Tundra and the Nissan Titan are poised to become the standard pickups of choice. (Yes Honda has a truck, but I don't expect to see it parked at any construction sites.) Eventually they can be expanded into the more esoteric models that Detroit still dominates.

If you look at it as a military battle, Detroit is no longer in a dominate position. They have virtually retreated in the passenger car market, offering token resistance. They are in pitched battle for the SUV's which might be made irrelevant by high fuel costs. And their last large market of trucks is under attack. I give them near 50/50 odds, perhaps 55/45 odds because now I think pulling for Detroit is pulling for the underdog. Of course America likes underdogs.
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