For the first time, the Detroit 3 share of light-vehicle production in North America dipped below 60 percent last year.
True, it was just one more milestone passed in a year full of them. But these down-goes-Detroit signposts seem to click by a lot faster than they once did.
The combined share of General Motors, Ford Motor and the former Chrysler Corp. dropped below 90 percent in 1989. It went under 80 percent in 1998 and below 70 percent in 2005.
In 2008, just three years later, GM, Ford and Chrysler combined for 59.1 percent of North American output, down from 63.0 percent in 2007.
The Detroit 3 built 7,494,259 vehicles last year, a decline of 21.5 percent.
American Honda climbed above 10 percent for a full year, rising to 11.0 percent from 9.3 percent in 2007. Of course, Honda production is declining these days just like everyone's. Last week, Honda Motor Co. said it would cut first-quarter production in North America by an additional 29,000 units.
Toyota's share of North American production came to 11.2 percent last year and went over 10 percent for the first time in 2007, reaching 10.8 percent.