I spent the last week attending all the pre-show functions for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
They were a tremendous success.
The amount of time and effort - not to mention money - that the automobile companies spent was staggering.
The number of journalists who attended the show this year, I'm told, exceeded 7,000.
A lot of companies talked about the Internet and e-commerce. Even General Motors had its own television show.
But this was an auto show about cars and trucks. There was nothing virtual about it.
The retail business is going to change a bit. Customers will have access to a lot more information. And dealers will have to stay on their toes to make sure that customer satisfaction is always No. 1.
If they do that, it sure will be hard to replace a motor show.
It will be just as tough to replace a showroom that allows a customer to kick tires, sit in a car, open the hood, check out the trunk and take a test drive. You simply won't to be able to - and won't want to - replace the dealer anytime soon.
The Detroit show is the grandest motor show in North America. But don't forget: It is a dealer show, and these dealers understand how to put on a great international show.
One reason the North American International Auto Show is so successful is that the Detroit auto dealers are willing to spend a huge amount of money.
They make sure that the atmosphere is right for all the manufacturers to display their products.
They make sure that thousands of journalists are taken care of without regard to a profit and loss.
These dealers understand that many of the hundreds of thousands of attendees will be buying a car real soon.
The dealers also are smart enough to understand just how important their show is to the entire industry. It is hard to imagine anyone being able to do a better job than the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.
It is a great show.
Once again, it demonstrates that product is king. And the competition for the customers' dollar is going to get even tougher.
The Detroit dealers have done a wonderful job for the entire industry.
They should be very proud.