The Ford vs. GM battle is going strong even after 100 years!
FORTUNE — It’s the mother of all corporate rivalries, bigger than Coke vs. Pepsi, older than Nike vs. Reebok, and more compelling than Pampers vs. Huggies. It’s fought with billion-dollar budgets for new models and marketing, and it is subject to more ups and downs than the stock market.
While it may be temporarily overshadowed by the troubles of Japanese auto makers, and imperiled long-term by the rise in oil prices, one constant remains in Detroit: General Motors vs. Ford. The two companies have been battling it out for profits, market share, and hometown bragging rights almost from the time GM (GM) was founded in Flint, Michigan in 1908, five years after Ford (F, Fortune 500) got started in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.
Keeping score means watching three major indicators: annual profit, market capitalization, and U.S. market share — both retail share to private customers and overall share that includes fleet buyers.