Detroit's major auto manufacturers could soon find that three certainly is a crowd when it comes to the world automotive market. CSM Worldwide is predicting 2009 to be the worst year in U.S. automotive sales in over a quarter of a century, and that Chrysler will not make it through the storm, turning the Detroit 3 into the "Detroit 2".

Michael Robinet, vice-president of CSM's global vehicle forecasts, is predicting that government-backed aid packages will not be enough to save Chrysler. Compared to Ford and GM, Robinet commented that Chrysler just doesn't have the right products "required to survive in this market".

Citing the lack of vehicle development at Chrysler, Robinet described Chrysler as a "caretaker company", and that the only likely legacy of Chrysler to remain following its downfall will be single vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Viper, reports The Detroit News.

CSM Worldwide's CEO, Craig Cather, claims that much of Chrysler's financial distress comes from German manufacturer Daimler, which previously held a majority stake in the company but now controls just under 20% of the Detroit manufacturer. According to Cather, Daimler restricted Chrysler in the international market, where much of its debt accumulated thanks to overproduction and poor sales.

In other forecasts of the future, CSM is predicting that foreign manufacturers will overtake American manufacturers within a couple of years and will produce almost 55% of U.S. vehicles within 5 years. The demand for smaller, more efficient cars will see a steady rise in imports, although new cars from GM and Ford designed to tackle this segment may prove to turn the tide eventually.