Not many people think next year is going to be as good as this year. It may not be.
But a minor slowdown might be just what the doctor ordered. The automobile industry in the United States hasn't had a breather for a long time. Business has been booming, and there has been no letup for the machines or the people.
This industry needs a little rest. You can't keep running the business with the pedal to the metal without breaking things along the way. You need a bit of recovery time.
One reason business has been so good for so long is that there have been no major price increases. U.S. consumers have been getting great deals on automobiles and light trucks the past few years.
The flip side is that you can't run a railroad for very long without decent profits. Automakers and suppliers are starting to see lower earnings, and they're not seeing the kind of stock performance they would like to see on Wall Street.
I'm not suggesting a steep dive for the car-truck market.
A modest downturn, though, might mean some people won't have to work Saturday and Sunday every week. Trying to run everything at 100 percent capacity is good for the textbooks, but it doesn't make a lot of sense in the real world. Slowing down to 90 percent might be good for everyone for a while.
People probably are going to be a bit confused after this presidential election, and you can't blame them. I'm not sure they will want to buy a new car or a truck in the very near future. They might want to sit back until the dust settles - assuming it does sometime soon.
The economy still seems strong, and there is no reason to forecast a recession.
Chances are good that 2001 will be another great sales year. No one thinks there will be anything more than a mild turndown.
Maybe that's just what we all need.