Once More, With Backing

U.S. auto executives and their Japanese counterparts face off

IN THE SEASON OF SUMMER SEQUELS, THE REMATCH last week between U.S. and Japanese carmakers, self-described as the Big Eight of the world auto industry, drew very little attention. Meeting for four hours behind closed doors at a suburban Chicago hotel in a session that all the participants described as "subdued" and "serious," the dueling automen returned to the central issue of their tarnished visit to Tokyo last March: the $43 billion trade deficit between the two countries, nearly $30 billion of which comes from Japanese auto products.

This time, however, the chiefs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler had more...

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