The 1990s saw the end of the Big 3 when Chrysler Corp. was acquired by a German automaker. There was a boardroom revolt at General Motors when long-passive outside directors kicked out the establishment.
AutoNation debuted as a dealership supergroup; the jury is still out. And the Internet ushered in new ways to sell cars. The United States and Japan moved to the brink of an automotive trade war in 1995 before cooler heads on both sides decided, 'Hey, we really don't need this.' The trend toward fewer but bigger auto companies gained steam.
And through it all, trucks - led by sport-utilities - continued their relentless drive for a one-to-one position with cars in market share.