The debate over aid to the Detroit-based automakers is
> awash with half-truths and misrepresentations that are
> endlessly repeated by everyone from members of Congress to
> journalists. Here are six myths about the companies and
> their vehicles, and the reality in each case.
> Myth No. 1
> Nobody buys their vehicles.
> General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC sold
> 8.5 million vehicles in the United States last year and
> millions more around the world. GM outsold Toyota by about
> 1.2 million vehicles in the United States last year and
> holds a U.S. lead over Toyota of about 560,000 so far this
> year. Globally, GM in 2007 remained the world's largest
> automaker, selling 9,369,524 vehicles worldwide -- about
> 3,000 more than Toyota.
> Ford outsold Honda by about 850,000 and Nissan by more than
> 1.3 million vehicles in the United States last year.
> Chrysler sold more vehicles here than Nissan and Hyundai
> combined in 2007 and so far this year.
> Myth No. 2
> They build unreliable junk.
> The creaky, leaky vehicles of the 1980s and '90s are
> long gone. Consumer Reports recently found that
> "Ford's reliability is now on par with good
> Japanese automakers." The independent J.D. Power
> Initial Quality Study scored Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet,
> Ford, GMC, Mercury, Pontiac and Lincoln brands' overall
> quality as high or higher than that of Acura, Audi, BMW,
> Honda, Nissan, Scion, Volkswagen and Volvo.
> Power rated the Chevrolet Malibu the highest-quality
> midsize sedan. Both the Malibu and Ford Fusion scored better
> than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
> Myth No. 3
> They build gas-guzzlers.
> All of the Detroit Three build midsize sedans the
> Environmental Protection Agency rates at 29-33 miles per
> gallon on the highway. The most fuel-efficient Chevrolet
> Malibu gets 33 m.p.g. on the highway, 2 m.p.g. better than
> the best Honda Accord. The most fuel-efficient Ford Focus
> has the same highway fuel economy ratings as the most
> efficient Toyota Corolla. The most fuel-efficient Chevrolet
> Cobalt has the same city fuel economy and better highway
> fuel economy than the most efficient non-hybrid Honda Civic.
> A recent study by Edmunds.com found that the Chevrolet Aveo
> subcompact is the least expensive car to buy and operate.
> Myth No. 4
> They already got a $25-billion bailout.
> None of that money has been lent out and may not be for
> more than a year. In addition, it can, by law, be used only
> to invest in future vehicles and technology, so it has no
> effect on the shortage of operating cash the companies face
> because of the economic slowdown that's killing them
> Myth No. 5
> GM, Ford and Chrysler are idiots for investing in pickups
> and SUVs.
> The domestic companies' lineup has been truck-heavy,
> but Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have all spent
> billions of dollars on pickups and SUVs because trucks are a
> large and historically profitable part of the auto industry.
> The most fuel-efficient full-size pickups from GM, Ford and
> Chrysler all have higher EPA fuel economy ratings than
> Toyota and Nissan's full-size pickups.
> Myth No. 6
> They don't build hybrids.
> The Detroit Three got into the hybrid business late, but
> Ford and GM each now offers more hybrid models than Honda or
> Nissan, with several more due to hit the road in early 2009.
> 6 myths about the Detroit 3 | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press