AUTOS: Back to 'More Car per Car'

That familiar economic harbinger, the open-walleted American tire-kicker, a year ago seemed on the way to extinction. But this spring the species is flocking into auto showrooms in greater numbers than almost anyone had expected. Industry figures released last week showed that May sales rose 37% over a year earlier, and automakers are scheduling for June the heaviest production in 30 months.

The continued surge has surprised even Detroit's inveterate optimists. Late last year, when the industry was just beginning to grope its way out of its worst slump since the 1930s,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!