AUTOS: Cracks in the Price Wall

The U.S. auto industry has a long way to come back if it is to help lead the general recovery that the President's economic advisers hope will begin at midyear. Sales totals released last week confirmed the obvious: 1974 was the biggest lemon the automakers have had since the recession year of 1958. The 7.5 million cars sold by the four U.S. automakers added up to a chilling 23% drop from 1973, a record year; even imports, which have survived past slumps in relatively good shape, were off 20%.

As the new year...

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