Japan Auto's Talented B-Team

Toyota and Honda may get all the press among Japanese car makers, but second-tier players like Mazda and Suzuki are making impressive gains

Compared to the possible sales drama at Chrysler, the financial travails of Ford (F), or Toyota's (TM) quest for industry supremacy, this bit of industry news out of Japan barely registered. Yet on Feb. 6, the once-hapless automaker Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF) actually managed to post a $35 million quarterly net profit for the first time since it started reporting quarterly in 2004.

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