Like it or not, we're living in a time when it takes a global village to support a worldwide auto industry. With luck, the cyclical highs and lows balance out. The last decade is an example of that. As the Asia/Pacific region's high-flying economies crashed and burned in domino style throughout 1997-98, and Western Europe's sales began to tank due in part to the weak euro, the U.S. auto market surged toward record sales, culminating last year in 17.8 million vehicles sold. While Brazil's ...

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