GREEN SHOOTS

Big Three Hit Bottom?

Could our long national automotive nightmare be over? The big-three car makers in America are touting recent sales figures as a sign that the market has finally bottomed out. New vehicle sales were down 28% in June from the previous year, the lowest decline this year, prompting a new wave of optimism among auto executives. "The auto-industry downturn appears to be nearing a turning point," the top sales analyst at Ford tells the Wall Street Journal. The sales and marketing chief for GM says the company "feels pretty strongly that the bottom was hit earlier in the year." Analysts for the companies say that once-overstocked inventories have dwindled to the point that car sales are becoming more profitable, creating an opportunity for a comeback in the industry.