North American vehicle assembly plants are slated to build nearly the same number of cars and trucks in the first quarter of 2005 as they turned out in January-March 2004 – 4,219,600 vs. 4,250,700. But the virtual dead heat with year-ago primarily is a result of increased strength of the major transplants in 2005. Estimated Chrysler Group data does suggest the auto maker will better its year-earlier performance in January-March, as well. However, much of the gain is due to the fact that ...

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