Business: Spring Surge

It was the cheeriest spring in years in Detroit, with the loudest notes of optimism coming from Ford. The company last week boosted its quarterly dividend from 40¢ to the 60¢ quarterly rate it was paying up until last fall; its first-quarter earnings will be more than $2.25 a share v. 42¢ last year. Ford's Vice President James Wright flatly predicted a 6,000,000-car year—the most optimistic projection this year. His optimism was based on the rising production of the industry (1,683,326 autos to date compared to 1,290,587 last year) and a big...

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