Western Europe is bracing for the coming year’s predicted economic roller coaster. Many analysts claim the climb into positive territory will be an insurmountable task for 2002, but that 2003 still holds promise. The dreary post Sept. 11 forecasts are placing added pressure on automakers to streamline operations and bring capacity in line with overall demand. Auto sales in the region had been expected to decline 1.5% overall this year, possibly falling to 2% in 2002. But a recent study ...

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