As if the Big Three needed an another survey which showed just how bad their business is compared to that of the Japanese brands, a recent study by US consumer website Edmunds.com showed that Ford, GM and Chrysler all keep their cars on dealer lots for longer than Toyota, Honda or Nissan.

In September 2006, on average Chrysler cars were being sold 101 days after appearing on the lot. The Detroit Free Press attributed this to the company's large inventory of pick-ups and SUVs.

GM ranked better than Chrysler, but still with cars averaging 88 days on the dealers lot. Ford ranked third at 84 days.

Toyota was the best performer on this measure, as with many others, with cars sitting with dealers for just 26 days. Honda also did well at 38 days, while Nissan was somewhere in between at 60 days.