2006 Auto Sales: As Bad As Expected

Detroit's annus horribilis closes with a thud. Without dramatic action and better cars, 2007 may not be much better

Normally, the first few weeks of January are festive ones in Detroit. That's when the U.S. auto industry throws itself its biggest party of the year at the North American International Auto Show and debuts 2007 models. The 700,000-square-foot Cobo Convention Center is filled with shiny new cars from all over the world, well-fed dealers, back-slapping executives, excited enthusiasts, and dozens of pretty girls in skimpy clothes.

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