Business: To Higher Roads

Buoyed by still rising production, automakers last week rolled out a glittering group of quarterly earnings reports and said that still better times are ahead.

Chrysler's President L. L. Colbert told stockholders that first-quarter earnings exceeded the $1.30 per share reported in the company's best and final quarter last year. Chrysler's retail sales from April 10 to April 20 were the highest in the past 17 months. Colbert said "considerable improvement" in earnings can be expected in the second quarter, when Chrysler plans to boost production to 300,000 cars and trucks, 40% above the first quarter's 215,175.

American Motors earned $2.10 for its...

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