Recent agreements with the United Auto Workers union give the Big Three -- Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and General Motors
Wait a minute. Did we say these are the Big Three? Actually, Toyota is the third-largest auto power in the U.S. This burns DaimlerChrysler, which wants to cut 5,000 jobs through buyouts, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Ford targets $7 billion in profits by 2005, after losing not much less than that in the last two years. General Motors is barely profitable and DaimlerChrysler was $1.1 billion in the red last quarter. Their shares have underperformed the S&P 500, including dividends, for one and five years, though DaimlerChrysler is slightly ahead for two years. Their dividends are some consolation, but it may be years -- if ever -- before their expenses and capacity decline to a healthy balance with demand.
Speaking of dividends, Ford, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler shares sport 3.7%, 4.9%, and 4.6% dividend yields, respectively. Are they as smart as other high-yield options? Find out with a free trial of Mathew Emmert's Motley Fool Income Investor. And don't wait to join other thoughtful auto industry observers on ourFord andGeneral Motorsdiscussion boards.