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Trucks' rise, and Jack's cries

Some folks think those of us who toil at Automotive News lead glamorous lives.

What they don't know is that for years we had to endure the sounds of a broken record in our newsroom: Jack Teahen griping about how the Detroit 3 had abandoned passenger cars.

No one has ever called Jack subtle. He also has an annoying habit of being right. He's been watching this industry longer than most of his colleagues have been alive. He's a whiz at numbers, too.

His cries grew louder as cars' share of U.S. sales dropped from 80 percent in 1980 to well under 50 percent in the 2000s. The more he howled, the more we ignored him.

Then fuel prices hit the roof. Truck sales collapsed, and GM and Chrysler were in bankruptcy. Jack is too polite to shout, "I told you so." But he did tell us so.

Why am I rehashing all of this? Because trucks are on the rise again -- up 20 percent in June, outpacing cars for the fourth straight month.

I can hear Jack stepping on his soap box. Time to get the earplugs.

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