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DETROIT – The U.S. economy may be showing signs of slowly recovering, but based on experts’ estimates that’s not reaching U.S. automakers’ projections for 2005. Facing increased and aggressive competition from automakers in Asia and Europe, experts say U.S. automakers overall sales will continue their downward trend in 2005 from 2004. Analysts have projected U.S. sales of light vehicles in 2005 will reach 16.6 million, down from 2004′s estimated sales of 16.8 to 16.9 million cars and light trucks. While the Big Three automakers in the past have relied on incentives and rebates to boost sales, some analysts say the automakers probably won’t be able to continue to do this in 2005 because of the increased cost of raw materials and new regulations which are expected to add to the cost of building vehicles. -

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