It was only a matter of time until the foreign automakers were going to overtake the Big Three in the US auto sales race. According to statistics compiled by R.L. Polk and Co., foreign car companies made up 52.9 percent of car sales versus 47.1 percent for the domestics in the first five months of 2006.

This is the first time US consumers purchased more imports. Last year it was 51 percent versus 49% in favour of the domestics. Though the results don’t include fleet sales, which would put the domestics back in the lead, the more profitable retail sales are a much better indicator of how popular the brands are at the moment. Note however, that some of the foreign brands are actually owned by US companies, example Ford’s Premier Auto Group which owns the likes of Jaguar and Volvo among others.

Foreign car companies are offering much greater levels of features and safety, especially the Asian brands, even despite the rising cost of fuel; US automakers are still churning out large trucks and SUVs. Is this another sign that it could be the end of the road for one of the Big Three?

Pictured above is the Pontiac Aztec, just one of the reasons why US car buyers have been turned off buying domestics.

Follow the jump for the full article.

[Source: The Detroit News]