A Car by Any Other

Name American-made Chevrolets will be renamed Toyotas and sold in Japan

FOR YEARS AMERICAN AUTOMAKERShave complained bitterly that they were locked out of the Japanese market by a powerful dealer network that effectively excluded foreign firms. General Motors may have found a way to steer around the obstacle: Toyota and GM announced last week that beginning in 1996 the Japanese company would annually import 20,000 American-built GM cars (with right-hand drives) and sell them in Japan under the Toyota brand name. Since GM shipped only 9,000 cars and trucks to Japan last year, the venture will immediately boost its profile in the tough Japanese market.

But does the venture make economic sense...

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