Autos: Uphill & Getting Steeper

Hoping to steer ailing American Motors Corp. back to health, Board Chairman Roy D. Chapin Jr. recently prescribed price cuts for his slow-moving Rambler American economy line. The first sales figures showed an encouraging upturn—and Chapin, dining in a Chicago restaurant, cheerily ordered strolling musicians to play Just in Time. The American's $1,839 base price — well under that of any other U.S. compact and only $200 more than the Volkswagen—has indeed helped tune up sales, which in April rose 8% over the same month last year, to 7,371 cars. Nevertheless, as...

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