A lift from financing

auto sector

The brakes were applied to the US auto sector in 2003, with depressed earnings a major cause for concern. Rating agency Standard & Poor’s was forced to place Ford Motor Company on review for downgrade in October, a move that prompted a closer inspection of the profitability of the auto manufacturers and raised questions over the fundamentals of the entire sector.

But it was not all doom and gloom. To a large degree the industry was bailed out by the performance of the auto firms’ in-house financi

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