NO NEED TO KICK THE TIRES

AND SAY GOODBYE TO HAGGLING. FIXED-PRICE SUPERSTORES ARE TAKING OVER THE USED-CAR BUSINESS

SHOPPING FOR A USED CAR CAN MAKE the shopper feel as used as the car. The stereotypical sojourn involves a persistent salesman on commission (loud checked sport jacket optional), high-pressure haggling and a persistent anxiety that the buyer was talked into something he or she didn't quite want. Naturally, the heap falls apart in a few weeks, creating a desire for auto-da-fe.

Now, the lemon business promises to become lemonade. In Dearborn, Michigan, last week, nine of the nation's biggest and most powerful automobile dealership owners (annual sales: about $4 billion) announced plans to invest $100 million in a chain of...

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