I'm still not sure whether last year was the first year or last year of a millennium. But it was the best year for U.S. auto sales despite the drop-off late in the year.
Last week, during press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it almost seemed as if some automakers are selling cars and trucks in different countries or at least in different markets.
One press conference would begin with smiles and the satisfaction of double-digit percentage increases and record sales.
At the next press conference, another manufacturer would say the sky is falling, 2000 was terrible and 2001 will be worse.
This economic pingpong game probably will continue throughout this year.
Many manufacturers bemoan the fact that sales in 2001 will be off by at least 1 million units.
That sounds bad. But when you do the math, this year probably will be the third best in history - not bad for a mature industry.
At the show, there were many who see the decrease as a signal that the entire country is falling into a recession.
Others introduced products and said they expect their own sales to be up modestly - perhaps 10 percent.
It was the old question of whether the glass is half full or half empty.
General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler group all lost market share last year. Others gained volume and market share. It just depended what you were selling.
When I arrived in Detroit many years ago, a wise, old editor told me that when the auto business was good, it was very, very good. And when it was bad, it was still pretty good.
That's not true for everyone, but it works for the majority of companies.
Jac Nasser is bullish about 2001. He sees this year as a great opportunity for Ford, and many other automobile executives in the United States also see opportunities.
But others don't. And I wouldn't be surprised if the folks who think we're headed into a recession discover one, if only for their own companies.
It will be an interesting year in which most companies make their own success or failure.