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Big 3 Automakers: Why They Really Can Be Thankful

CNBC.com

In a year that has included two strikes, billions of dollars in losses, tens of thousands of layoffs, and more of the "Why can't the Big 3 get their act together" comments, there is reason to give thanks in Detroit (and no, it doesn't involve the Lions).

The latest research by CNW Marketing shows more Californians are interested in domestic cars, trucks and SUV's. Granted, Asian brands are still the preference in California, but at least GM, Ford, and Chrysler are making headway the golden state.

CNW Marketing surveyed people at last week's Los Angeles Auto Show and asked them the main models they came to see at the show. Sixteen percent picked the Big 3, up from 10 percent in 2005. Those primarily looking for Asian makes dropped from 68 percent in 2004 to 58 percent this year.

Granted, having only 16 percent picking domestics, is nothing to write home about, but it's a step in the right direction. THAT is at least a start for Detroit.

If the Big 3 are ever going to stop losing market share to foreign rivals, it will ultimately come down to building models that get people talking. On that front, they're improving. Look at the GMC Acadia. It's one of the fastest selling crossover utility vehicles.

I'll be the first to say the Big 3 has long been too bland in the showroom. But things may finally be changing. And for that, Detroit can give thanks.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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