9 all-too-familiar auto headlines

Call them the greatest hits of automotive journalism: 9 headlines we keep seeing again and again.

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Already the New Year seems like déjà vu all over again. Most of what I've read and heard in 2012 has a familiar ring to it. I know the auto industry is cyclical and history repeats itself, but this is ridiculous.

These recurring headlines signal the presence of what among journalists are known as "evergreens" -- stories that can run anytime. They were just as true today as they were yesterday, and they will likely remain just as true tomorrow.

The car business lends itself to these kinds of stories because so much of it is dictated by the calendar. Vehicle sales are reported every month, so somebody is always up and somebody else is always down. Analysts release their data on initial quality or customer satisfaction at the same time every year, generating the predictable finger pointing and recriminations. Dealers are always getting excited about new models, customers are always becoming more discriminating, and car reviewers always want more horsepower.

Here are some evergreens from early 2012:

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 16 2012: 9:48 AM ET
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