A salesman looks at Ford Fusion cars with customers on the lot at the Serramonte Ford dealership in Colma, Calif. This year, Ford Motor Co. reported its best first-quarter earnings since 1998, at $2.6 billion.
The U.S. auto market is slowly rebounding. But even as sales increase, they're still not at the peaks hit 10 years ago. In 2000 and 2001, more than 17 million automobiles were sold in America. Last year, just under 12 million were sold.
But many analysts, dealers and executives believe the industry is actually healthier selling far fewer cars.
"That 16 to 17 million sales level that we experienced was not a normal situation," says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of car site Edmunds.com.
He says a lot of the factors that kept car sales high won't be seen again.
Thousands of Chinese students holding Communist flags and a portrait of China's late leader Mao Zedong mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of China's Communist Party. Celebrations like this one come during a controversial moment, as leftist groups push back at criticism of Chairman Mao and the millions of deaths he caused.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Reformist Mao Yushi, 82, has caused a storm with his latest essay criticizing Chairman Mao. But he'd welcome a court hearing; "It wouldn't be me on trial, it would be Chairman Mao on trial," he says.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Reformist Mao Yushi, 82, has caused a storm with his latest essay criticizing Chairman Mao. But he'd welcome a court hearing: "It wouldn't be me on trial, it would be Chairman Mao on trial," he says.
Credit ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images
Officers from Huaian city perform patriotic "red songs" at the Huaian Great Hall of the People to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.
As China prepares to mark the 90th anniversary of its Communist Party on July 1, there are signs of a new ideological struggle over former leader Mao Zedong's legacy.
The conflict is being played out online amid a backdrop of heightened nostalgia for the revolutionary days, as a young leftist takes on an elderly economist who dared to publicly criticize the founder of the People's Republic of China.
Steve Marion's band, Delicate Steve, performs on this episode of World Cafe.
Delicate Steve got a lot of attention early this year when the band's debut album, Wondervisions, was released with a prank press release written by rock critic Chuck Klosterman. The parody, which many took at face value, described Delicate Steve as "the wordless New Jersey U2" and claimed that bandleader Steve Marion played more than 40 instruments.