Detroit’s boom-and-bust history was built on a dependence on big, fuel-thirsty vehicles. Now, with freshly stocked showrooms of new cars and more-efficient trucks, U.S. automakers are gaining ground on their Asian competitors with the best lineup in a generation.
Michelin & Cie., Europe’s largest tiremaker, said first-quarter revenue fell 8.1 percent as a recession reducing car sales in its home region widened to hurt demand at bulldozer and military-plane manufacturers.
A commercial showing the new Ford Fusion being driven off a cliff led David Bowhall to visit a dealer last month for a test drive. The owner of four Mercedes- Benzes in the last five years said it wasn’t much of a leap.
Chevrolet Dealer Gordon Stewart’s greatest challenge used to be competing against superior Japanese sedans. Now his biggest headache is getting General Motors Co. to build enough Chevy cars to satisfy growing demand.
Acura’s future was so dire four years ago that Honda Motor Co. began killing models and choking off product development. Now, Honda is putting $1 billion into its luxury brand, a perennial also-ran to Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus line.
Volkswagen AG handpicked a group of 25 U.S. auto dealers two years ago for a three-day trip to its headquarters. Off-road drives in a Touareg sport-utility vehicle and a glimpse at future products were capped by dinner with German beers in the medieval Wolfsburg Castle.