General Motors a Giant Stalls, Then Revs Its Engines

Plant closings and fresh models help to restore momentum

General Motors was in no mood to hold back last week. Dispirited by slumping profits and weary of accusations that it produces bland, look-alike autos, the company decided that it needed to give car buyers a peek at coming attractions. In a surprise marketing step, GM's Chevrolet division announced it would supply Avis, National and other car-rental agencies with several thousand advance models of its 1987 Corsica sedans and Beretta coupes. GM hopes that the cars, to be available for rent about three months ahead of their official March 12 debut, will turn some heads. The spiffy Chevrolets (estimated price: $8,500)...

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