Building autos is a $1.6-trillion-a-year global industry, producing every five seconds a two-ton machine with more than 14,000 parts from a global web of suppliers. However, automakers' profit margin typically hovers around 1–2% (for U.S. automakers, below 0.4% through 2008), much lower than the weighted average for the global oil industry. This graph clearly illustrates the industry's susceptibility to financial downturns. The 2007–8 global financial crisis sharply cut sales of new vehicles and the financial stability of the U.S. Big 3 auto manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler).
A: Storey, Jonathan and Automotiveworld.com. The World's Car Manufacturers: An operating & financial review - 13th Edition. United Kingdom: Automotiveworld.com. link
B: U.S. Energy Information Administration. T-5, Consolidated Statement of Income for Financial Reporting System Companies, U.S. and Foreign Petroleum Segments. Washington DC: U.S. Energy Information Administration. link