The big three American automobile manufacturers are headed into the shop for repairs after a bumpy fiscal year, as a foreign rival tops them all for the first time.
Late last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that new Ford
It now also appears that General Motors
Not to be left out, DaimlerChrysler
However, in another respect, it's nearly business as usual at Ford. The company is in the midst of an estimated $80 million marketing campaign to push sales of its new Edge, a crossover vehicle with an SUV body built on a car-based platform. At the same time, the company has ended production of it Taurus sedan, a once-popular model that it produced almost unchanged for nearly 20 years. And late last week, the company announced that, in exchange for more than $150 million in tax incentives from the state, it would invest $1 billion in six southeastern Michigan plants.
But at the close of an extremely trying year, the hoods are effectively up at all three of the big U.S. auto manufacturers, and their respective managements are up to their elbows in corporate overhauls. While it appears reasonable to assume that one or more of the resulting restructurings will result in a brighter future for its associated U.S. auto company, I'd nevertheless urge Fools to adopt a wait-and-see attitude on potential investments in the Big Three.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your comments or questions.