How competitive are US auto manufacturer's relative to the world in 2008?

I realize this is asking for an opinion, but I’ve put it in GQ in that I’m asking for a fairly hard nosed evaluation of how our new cars stack up technologically, not opinions on (specifically) stylistic issues.

Are we ahead, behind, treading water or what? Where does the American automobile industry, as the centerpiece of our industrial and manufacturing might, stand at this point relative to other countries automobile manufacturers?