Business: Autos Hit 40 Miles of Bad Road

Detroit's sales slump leads the business slowdown

The warm weather and quickened heartbeats of spring have traditionally sparked a resurgence in U.S. auto sales after winter's doldrums. Not this year. Domestic new car sales for the first ten days in April were down a sharp 24% from a year ago. Detroit now expects to build only 7 million cars this year. In the past 18 years, only one year was worse: recession-struck 1975.

Last week Ford Motor Co., which is expected to lose $1 billion on domestic car operations in 1980, announced the permanent closing...

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