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Despite the importance of the automobile industry, this is one of the first full-length economic studies of the subject to be published. Focusing on the ways in which its technological characteristics affect structure and behavior, Lawrence White examines the history and performance of the industry since World War II. He investigates its high risk aspects, pricing procedures, dealer relations, the franchise system of retailing, annual model change, and general product development. He finds that the industry has not performed up to its potential, that its profits and prices have been too high, and its record of technological change poor. The author recommends new policies for controlling air pollution and auto safety. He also proposes that the tariff on imported automobiles be removed to give consumers the widest range of choice. He suggests that a major antitrust effort aimed at breaking up the current companies and creating more competition would be the only way of bringing about appreciably better performance in the future.