2001: Marketshare for Big Three has been declining since 1988. 9/11 terrorist attack. GM starts "Keep America Rolling" incentive program, boosting sales but begins reliance on big rebates. Light trucks top cars in sales for the first time.
2002: GM and Ford begin to show improvement in quality but Toyota still dominates.
2003: Domestic car quality continues to improve but trails Asians. Still, Americans aren't buying. Incentive spending for all three U.S. automakers per vehicle tops $3,000.
2004: Korea's Hyundai begins to become a serious challenger, outscoring domestics and Toyota in quality. Domestic manufacturers all score below average.
2005: GM introduces "Employee Pricing" incentive plan to clear out inventory. Chrysler introduces 300 sedan to largely positive reviews. It'll be a long time before they have another hit.
2006: Toyota overtakes Chrysler for third place in the U.S. Ford puts all assets up as collateral for $25 billion line of credit. GM sweeps North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards.
2007: Toyota overtakes Ford for second place in the U.S. DaimlerChrysler sells Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management. New UAW contracts cap future healthcare costs.
2008: Gas prices spike past $4 a gallon. Global financial meltdown begins. Big 3 CEO's fly in private jets to testify on Capitol Hill. Total U.S. auto sales lowest since 1998. Ford's marketshare begins to improve as the rest of the Detroit automakers continue to struggle.
2009: GM and Chrysler go through bankruptcy as U.S. implements bailout plans. Chrysler incentive spending peaks at over $4,000 per vehicle. Cash for Clunkers sells about 700,000 cars.
2010: For the 1st time, all three domestic automakers' marketshare is growing. The new GM goes public. At $33 a share it's largest IPO ever. American cars beat imports in J.D Power's owner satisfaction and quality survey.
2011: All three domestic automakers are profitable for first time since 2004 as earthquake and tsunami cripple Japanese production.