But no place in the automotive firmament is secure. There are always challengers and upstarts angling to dethrone the king. The maneuvering begins with product planning, continues in the design studio and engineering halls, and gets communicated in marketing and advertising. By the time they reach the showroom floor, the new arrivals are ready to make their mark.
With the start of the 2013 model year on October 1, an unusual number of incumbents will be faced with serious competition -- and could find themselves surprisingly vulnerable. Technology is changing quickly, the marketplace is fluid, and customers are fickle. No model has a moat that is unbridgeable.
Here's a look at who will be challenging them in key matchups:
As the old philosopher said - no good deed goes unpunished. Here's a roundup of this year's car news highlights so far, along with their companion lows.
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|Water becoming more valuable than gold|
|GM's $1.3 billion recall cost wipes out profit|
|Will 7 Apples a day keep the bears away? - The Buzz|
|Ex-Wal-Mart CEO Duke retired with $140 million|