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Friday, 29 April 2011 21:31

Stars are aligning for Detroit 3 surge

Automotive News reporter Mike Colias reports that there are no more excuses for the Detroit 3.

Just two years removed from their near-death experience, U.S. automakers have a glistening opportunity to take back some of the market share they have hemorrhaged over the past two decades.

Toyota’s recall crisis last year cracked open the door just as the Detroit 3 were picking themselves up off the mat. Now Toyota and other Japanese rivals will be hobbled by quake-related production drops of as much as 50 percent in the coming months — just as a recovering U.S. economy is bringing shoppers back into showrooms.

Brad Sowers, a Chevrolet dealer in St. Louis, says Honda and Toyota customers are showing up at his store.

“We’ve been talking about it forever, but we’re actually starting to see it,” says Sowers.

A dearth of colors or trim packages on Japanese brands could be just enough to nudge lifelong import customers — or first-time buyers — into Detroit 3 dealerships. They might be surprised with the rejuvenated product lineups they find.

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