Like any good soap opera, the auto industry has its share of cliff hangers heading into the new year. Among the questions to be answered and subplots waiting to be resolved in 2005: ยท The economy. For the past few months, automotive executives have insisted the U.S. economy is improving. But new car and truck sales overall have been lagging, and domestic auto makers have had to cut fourth-quarter production schedules and keep their first-quarter output plans below year-ago levels in an ...

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