AUTOS: Building Less Excitement

Building Less Excitement

When the first Pontiac Fiero hit the streets in 1983, automobile buffs waxed ecstatic. The two-door coupe had the sleek lines of a sports car, and its original base price of $7,990 made it comely even to cash-conscious commuters, who did not mind that it had only two seats. A molded plastic exterior and an engine placed just behind those seats to improve handling gave the auto a justifiable reputation for innovative design. But last week parent company General Motors, citing decelerating sales, suddenly slammed the brakes on all future production of the Fiero (the Italian word for proud).

After a...

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