When I was growing up, our neighborhood was split neatly into families who were GM loyalists, Ford loyalists and Chrysler loyalists. Look around your neighborhood today and you begin to see why Washington sent the Big Three carmakers' CEOs back to Michigan -- in their corporate jets -- without $25 billion of Federal aid.
The problem with US' The big-3 were they didn't see the competitors' from outside US & thought that the Americans will be a die hard loyalists to US auto brands, until the Japanese teached them! It's hard to believe that Ford Europe is so much different (and so much better) than Ford US, when they are carrying the same logo. Now you start to get Europe's Fiesta...
VW is getting strong b'coz innovative & quality. Audi, BMW & Merc are technology-driven brand & market selective... even Lexus can't easily penetrate the top 3 luxury model, as they are heavily seen as cheaper Toyota brand.