Autos: Small Change

Annual model changes are not merely a tradition with U.S. automakers: for years they have been considered an important ingredient of the industry's sales success. Now, as Detroit begins to unveil its 1970 passenger cars, it is clear that this year's styling changes will be distinguished for their modesty. The proliferation of models in years past, the rising cost of retooling and added emphasis on safety have all contributed to the automakers' reluctance to tamper with last year's line.

General Motors is making minimal design changes. Frequently they involve nothing more fundamental...

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