The Detroit 3 have been berated from every direction for failing to anticipate the growth in sales of fuel-efficient vehicles, and now the trio are engaged in an uphill battle to reclaim market share largely lost to foreign rivals that offer a range of compact models and advanced hybrids. Catching up is proving to be arduous for the American automakers, and right now only Ford appears to be headed in the right direction.

GM and Chrysler are both focusing on offering hybrid SUV's as a compromise between utility and efficiency, but so far customers aren't biting. GM has only sold around 1,100 units of the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids since January - well under their goal of 12,000 units per year. Toyota, meanwhile, has managed to sell 64,000 units of its hybrid Prius over the same period.

Chrysler is also looking to hybrids as the brand's savior, considering that sales of Chrysler's big SUVs have dropped by 22% this year. Going by GM's lack of success with similar products, Chrysler also faces a long road to gaining customer appeal for its hybrid SUV's, which are planned for release this fall.

While Chrysler and GM are betting on hybrid SUVs bringing consumers back to the large car market, Ford has stated that they are not considering such a model. Speaking with the New York Times, a Blue Oval spokesman explained that customers downgrading from fuel-hungry SUVs would likely prefer a crossover or premium compact vehicle as opposed to a hybrid utility.