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Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally’s crisis is Mazda Motor Corp. CEO Hisakazu Imaki’s opportunity.

The two men are partners in moving the second-largest U.S. automaker away from the trucks and large sport utility vehicles consumers are shunning in the face of $4-a-gallon gasoline. Ford, which saved Mazda from near-bankruptcy 12 years ago, owns a third of the Hiroshima-based company, Japan’s fifth-largest automaker.

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