The 2005 results are in, so let's dissect the numbers and talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Sales, overall, were excellent: 16,994,655, just a whisker short of 17 million, a total that has been reached only twice in the history of the U.S. auto industry (2000 and 2001).
It was an outstanding year if your cars and trucks wear the badges of companies based in Japan or Korea or if they are the made-in-U.S. models of DaimlerChrysler (Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep).
It was a bummer if you're peddling vehicles from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. or some European makers.
By the numbers, Japanese brands were up 6.2 percent; Korean makes climbed 6.1 percent; and the Chrysler group advanced 4.5 percent.
GM's North American brands were down 4.4 percent; Ford's tumbled 4.7 percent; European brands slipped 2.7 percent.
The overall total was up 0.5 percent.
Market share was no fun for GM and Ford, either; GM fell 1.3 percentage points to 26.0 percent; Ford dropped nine-tenths of a point to 17.4. It was GM's lowest share since 19.1 percent in 1925, and Ford's worst since 15.8 percent in 1928, when it was building stocks of its new Model A.
Big 3 market share for North American brands for 2005 was 56.9 percent, the lowest ever and down 1.8 percentage points from 2004.