This year's National Automobile Dealers Association meeting will be remembered as the dot-com convention. Dealers flocked to Orlando fearing an Internet invasion and factory plans to acquire dealerships and sell cars online.
But as the convention wound down last week, there was a sense of normalcy; times are good, and there will be peace throughout the land - at least for a while.
It was as though after nearly two years of bickering, automakers and dealers realized they had more to gain by working together.
General Motors' Jack Smith and Ron Zarrella did the right thing when they accepted responsibility for the lack of communication with their dealers and pledged to improve the relationship.
GM cleared the air by dismantling its Retail Holdings group and by declaring that GM will work with its dealers and not sell directly to consumers via the Internet. The moves gave NADA's industry relations group a political victory.
Other automakers jumped on the wagon, reaffirming that they also will work with their dealers and not sell directly to consumers over the Internet. And when automakers - including GM and Ford - said they will not grant franchises to online brokers, the panic was over.
There will be more retail experiments by some automakers, and maybe even a few dot-coms will be able to acquire franchises. There will be some room for third-party dot-coms as partners or consultants to dealers and automakers, but there will be no widespread takeover.
As Honda's Dick Colliver said, there will probably be a lot fewer dot-coms at next year's NADA convention in Las Vegas.
In the past four years, franchised dealers have survived used-car superstores, used-car superstores with new-car franchises, publicly traded dealership consolidators, off-shore ownership and factory-store initiatives. They also will survive the invasion of the dot-coms.