As the global auto industry rolls out new entries in the economical B-car segment, volatile fuel prices are not a guarantee of success in the U.S. market, analysts warn. “It is, to some extent, a science experiment,” says David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, MI. Even as crude oil prices creep past $70 per barrel and the average per-gallon price of regular unleaded gasoline hit an all-time of $3.24 in May, “fuel economy’s not an overriding ...

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