Compare the automotive retail industry to what it was 10 years ago and not much has changed. Heading into the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention in San Francisco in 1994, few dealers would have suspected they still would be grappling with some of the same issues 10 years later. Back then, there was talk of sluggish sales, although, with slightly more than 15 million light-vehicle sales, 1994 exceeded 1993’s total by 1.3 million, according to Wards data. The downturn ...

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