Recent tough financial situations for top US carmakers have resulted from their failures to focus on what consumers truly want, BMW head chairman Helmut Panke said at a pre-motor show lunch in Tokyo.

According to Kyodo News, he added that now is not the time when car makers can survive only by concentrating on their products, without serving users' likes and interests.

''A consumer wants to be basically sure that he or she gets a right product,'' Panke said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

He also said some German and Japanese carmakers have successfully increased their shares in the US market by bringing in difference, quality, reliability and lower prices than those set by the US Big Three auto giants.

Panke made the comments a day after GM reported a net loss of $US1.63 billion in the July-September quarter and Ford is expected to post a similar huge loss on Thursday.

The Big Three ''never found their positions,'' he said, adding GM's stance is that it will only concentrate on products that it believes will sell.

''US consumers are...not enthused or convinced by the products,'' he said, according to Kyodo News. ''The key point is 'how do you convince US consumers?''