U.S. Auto Industry Enjoys Best Performance in 20 Years

Detroit’s boom-and-bust history was built on a dependence on big, fuel-thirsty vehicles. Now, with freshly stocked showrooms of new cars and more-efficient trucks, U.S. automakers are gaining ground on their Asian competitors with the best lineup in a generation.

“No matter what the economy does, no matter what fuel prices are, I’ve got a car for all seasons,” said Chuck Eddy, a Chrysler dealer in Youngstown, Ohio, who is seeing sales boom for Dodge Dart compact cars and Ram 1500 pickups. “I didn’t have that in ’09.”

General Motors Co (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC — which all gained market share in the first quarter for the first time in 20 years — exceeded sales forecasts last month and led the industry to its best April since 2007.


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