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America's Car Makers: Does It Matter Who's #1? You Tell Me

Thursday, 2 Aug 2007 | 1:05 PM ET

On a regular basis, I hear from bloggers who think I'm pushing Toyota and would like nothing more than to see the Big 3 implode. In fact, I got an e-mail to that effect yesterday after blogging about the possibility of Chevy and Ford being outsold by the Toyota brand. For the record, Toyota has passed Ford, but still trails Chevy by a slight margin.

Well folks, nothing could be further from the truth. My feeling is pretty agnostic on the automakers. I don't care who is first and who is third or sixth, etc. But the latest sales report with foreign brands outselling the domestics for the first time ever on a monthly basis has me wondering: do you really care who's #1.

Now, don't get defensive. It's a legitimate question. If the Big 3 can't make money when they dominate the market, but can make money on a regular basis as smaller, more nimble companies, would you rather have them being lean, mean, and in the black?

I want to hear from you on this. Tell me in your own words what you want? I'll be interested to hear what you say. Sure, I expect some of you to say "We're America, and American companies should be #1". But go beyond that and email me about what bothers you (if it bothers you) that the Big 3 have been passed by foreign rivals.

Don't worry, I have no doubt I will hear from those of you who think I'm waving the flag for Toyota.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.

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