Time to wrap up another year
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.
If you were at a mall last week, you saw that there were lots of customers still shopping, even in the days after Christmas.
And there were plenty of shoppers in the nation's dealerships, too, checking out all the offers that have been popping up in ads. Many year-end deals seemed irresistible.
But even if people were not interested in buying new or used cars during the holidays, there were plenty of customers for America's automobile dealers. The factories might be closed as usual, but thousands of dealers knew their service departments would be needed not only for regular customers but for holiday travelers.
That is another powerful reason for vehicle manufacturers to have franchised dealers. Automakers need them to service their customers' vehicles wherever they may be across the country.
Of course, it is also time for year-end sales numbers to be announced.
Everyone denies having any interest in being the No. 1 volume or luxury brand. Still, it will be fun to watch the manufacturers delay their sales reports this week in an effort to be the last to announce numbers for the year.
A lot of brands have been fighting hard in the past few months to secure a title -- while claiming that it does not matter to them.
I am not sure that being No. 1 will help them sell even one more vehicle.
So we are ready to launch a mighty busy 2013. And there are plenty of opinions about what the economy will be like next year.
Fiscal cliff or not, we're going to see 15 million new cars and trucks sold. The Detroit 3 are making a wish that the European economy recovers sooner rather than later.
The auto industry is going to be full of surprises as it is every year. No one has any idea what lies in store.
Regardless of what the pundits say, it will be exciting and challenging.
I hope everyone has a prosperous and happy New Year.
You can reach Keith Crain at email@example.com.