As long as it sometimes feels like I've been covering this fascinating auto industry, there are some things that have always been true, like the Ford F-Series being the top-selling nameplate in the U.S.
There have been some seismic shifts over the years — some stuck and some didn't.
General Motors had seemed destined to always be the world's largest automaker and the market-share leader in the U.S. But the Detroit automaker gave up the global crown as it headed into bankruptcy. With a more focused and disciplined approach to markets, it may never be No. 1 again — and is probably a better company for it.
Toyota Motor North America topped GM in U.S. sales in 2021, but GM came back in 2022. Toyota officially brushed off its win as a fluke, but CEO Akio Toyoda admitted to doing a "happy dance" over the news, and it isn't impossible for Toyota to win the U.S. again — though I wouldn't predict it.
You don't always see those big changes coming. But sometimes you do, and you're not alone: Everyone sees it.
A pair of such tectonic — but predictable — events were documented in these pages recently: The ascendance of Lithia as the nation's top retailer and Tesla as the nation's top luxury brand.