'Year of the Car' Meets Revenge of the Truck

Toyota goes after larger truck market, while US automakers attempt to revive car segments

Published: 05-Jan-2004

DETROIT, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Having all but given away the cream of the domestic car market to foreign competitors as they trumpeted trucks for the past decade, U.S. automakers are touting a return to the glory days of the car as their best bet to restore reliable profits.

However, just as the Big Three U.S. carmakers turn their efforts to reviving their small-vehicle fortunes, the overseas crowd is revving up truck and sport utility lines of its own in a bid to squeeze Detroit's largest source of profits.

"I think we as an industry probably deserted the car for some time. It's time to put the focus back on that," Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler's marketing chief, told Reuters.

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