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Asian imports blitz U.S. market

Radio commentary
Edward Lapham is the editor of Automotive News

Sept. 11 - Twenty years ago, when U.S. automakers were in a slump and losing market share to imports, there arose a great cry from the heartland. ``Make them build factories here.''

So the overseas automakers came in droves to become the new American manufacturers. Most without unions.

Today, Toyota and Honda each build a million units a year in North America. And in August, the Honda and Toyota brands both outsold Dodge for the first time.

Maybe it was a freak month.

But now, Korean automaker Hyundai probably will build a plant in Alabama. And the Koreans already are doing very well here.

So, be careful what you wish for.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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