Business: Happy Early New Year

The new year always gets off to a long head start in Detroit, where automakers have already begun 1969 model production. By rolling out its 1969s this week, aggressive, struggling American Motors Corp. has rung in the new year earlier than ever before.

With a showing at Washington's Shoreham Hotel, A.M.C. gets a modest jump on the Big Three, who will not begin unwrapping their new wheels until later this month. Why the rush? Maybe because A.M.C. has a lot to show this year. "We've got a whole line of cars to sell now,"...

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