Americas

In Brazil, whiplash on assembly lines

The General Motors factory in San Caetano, Brazil, plowed ahead at full tilt. Stamped, welded and painted, new Chevrolets flew off the line in greater numbers each month. The company added a third shift in March: 1,600 new employees. The union cheered. Assembly-line painter Jair Nery de Andrade used his 11 percent employee discount in February to buy himself a new Chevrolet Corsa Classic. "I wouldn't buy it now," he said. "I wouldn't feel secure about making that kind of commitment."

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