Autos: An End to Obolsence?

Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the General Motors genius who championed the idea of the annual model change, once wrote: "The changes in the new models should be so novel as to create a certain amount of dissatisfaction with past models." In today's inflationary economy, there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction among automakers that the annual changes add so much to their bills for tooling and marketing. The consumerism movement has also made customers more concerned about prices and less interested in change for the sake of change. Last week G.M. announced that its new subcompact car, which...

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