‘New axis for new axles’ ran one headline, announcing the recent news of a reciprocal manufacturing and distribution deal between Volkswagen of Germany and Nissan (Datsun) of Japan. In most newspapers the subsequent story took up about twenty lines on something like page 8. In one sense this blasé reaction was pardonable enough. Attempts at defensive integration with the advancing columns of Japanese commerce are after all, almost ten a penny these days, especially in the car world.
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