Big Three

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Big Three'

A reference to the three largest automobile manufacturers in North America: General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.


All three companies are based in Detroit, so their performance has a significant effect on the city's economy. Employees of the Big Three are represented by the United Auto Workers union. The companies' major competitors include international automakers such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan.


The big three are sometimes referred to as the "Detroit Three".

BREAKING DOWN 'Big Three'

The profits (and losses) of the Big Three are thought to be an indicator of the state of the overall U.S. economy. In 2009, Chrysler and GM both closed thousands of dealerships, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and were bailed out by the U.S. Treasury through a loan under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.




RELATED TERMS
  1. Auto Sales

    The major producers of domestic automobiles report sales monthly. ...
  2. Just In Time - JIT

    An inventory strategy companies employ to increase efficiency ...
  3. Planned Obsolescence

    A manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products ...
  4. Retail Sales

    An aggregated measure of the sales of retail goods over a stated ...
  5. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
  6. Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

    These are consumer goods products that sell quickly at relatively ...
Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Detroit

    Learn how startups are changing the face of Detroit, a city long dominated by large corporations, and identify the specific Detroit startups leading the trend.
  2. Options & Futures

    Henry Ford: Industry Mogul And Industrial Innovator

    This man made his dream of bringing the automobile to the masses a reality.
  3. Options & Futures

    Analyzing Auto Stocks

    Find out what to consider before taking a ride with stocks from this industry.
  4. Investing

    What’s Holding Back the U.S. Consumer

    Even as job growth has surged and gasoline prices have plunged, U.S. consumers are proving slow to respond and repair their overextended balance sheets.
  5. Economics

    Explaining Market Penetration

    Market penetration is the measure of how much a good or service is being used within a total potential market.
  6. Economics

    Calculating the Marginal Rate of Substitution

    The marginal rate of substitution determines how much of one good a consumer will give up to obtain extra units of another good.
  7. Home & Auto

    5 Cars That Will Save You Money in 2015

    Learn which cars will save you money in 2015, whether you are looking for a compact, mid-size or full-size car, or even a pickup truck.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Is the Apple Watch a Real Threat to Fitbit?

    Examine the potential for marketplace competition between Fitbit and the Apple Watch in the rapidly growing consumer wearables industry.
  9. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  10. Stock Analysis

    What Drives Ford's Profits? Not Just Cars

    Ford, an experienced legacy car manufacturer, sells a lot of cars around the world and makes a lot of money in the money lending and leasing business.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What has the retail sector evolved to its current structure?

    Retail is the catch-all phrase for the sale of final goods to consumers; a retail transaction is considered an "end" and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does an investor compute a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of Sales for an automotive ...

    The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (SAAR) for an automotive company can be calculated by taking the unadjusted ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!