WASHINGTON – The Detroit Three had ample time to transition their fleet mix toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and avoid the hangover pain from last year’s fuel-price spike, but the auto makers were intoxicated by money-making trucks – even as the gin barrel began drying up. “They failed; they didn’t respond,” says Walter McManus, head of automotive analysis for the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan. McManus estimates the shift towards smaller vehicles, ...

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