1. The weak yen
yen vs dollar

Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected in December, the yen has moved from 86 to the dollar to 92, helping make Japanese auto imports cheaper for American buyers. The U.S. auto industry's lobbyist complains that Japan is engaging in "currency manipulation," a frequent, if empty, complaint from the pre-bankruptcy days. Says independent analyst Warren Browne: "If the Detroit Three need help from the government now, then perhaps their performance was not as good as everybody was indicating during the election cycle."


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 14 2013 06:23 AM ET
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