HAMAMATSU, Japan — The current Japanese enthusiasm for mini-vehicles is no mystery to a veteran of Japan's car wars. “We have entered an era where small is beautiful,” says Osamu Suzuki, president and chief executive officer of Suzuki Motor Corp. since 1978. “After rushing to buy bigger, more powerful cars in the late 1980s before Japan's economic bubble burst,” he says, “Japanese consumers have become less enamored with larger cars and are moving down market, returning to compact cars ...

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