Any consumer or, for that matter, any business economist, will tell you quite bluntly that there has never been a better time to be a consumer.
The car and truck choices are greater than ever before. If you want performance and road holding, there are more choices than ever before.
If you want fuel economy, safety and low emissions, now is the time to pick out a new vehicle.
And if you want all that at a low price, perhaps as low as you've seen in a decade, it's time for you to rush out and buy a vehicle.
And that's what consumers are doing - despite the problems in our economy.
Meanwhile, suppliers are dying. Their margins are so thin that there is hardly any point in winning business.
Dana Corp. said on the radio last week that it is just about finished closing plants and laying off 20 percent of its work force.
The Big 3 can't figure it out, except for General Motors.
The Japanese are doing well in the United States, both as importers and vehicle builders. But they can't figure out what to do in Japan, where the economy continues in a decade-long recession.
The Europeans' performance is spotty. The German economy is still in a tailspin, trying to recover from the massive amounts of money that it has poured into the former East Germany without any positive results. Some German car companies are doing better than others. It's still a dogfight in Europe.
In the United States, auto dealers are still moving the iron and making a profit. Some manufacturers tried to eliminate or replace their dealer networks, but they finally realized that relying on the American automobile dealer is still the best way by far to sell and service their products - whether the factories like dealers or not.
The American consumer has come to love the rebate, a uniquely American marketing tool. Without rebates, sales of most American cars and trucks screech to a halt. Even new models need incentives. It's not going to change.
Figuring out pricing that will enable suppliers and manufacturers to eke out a profit will be the challenge for this decade - and most easy solutions are illegal.