Car and light-truck sales have been rocketing through the roof. And most automakers showed great sales increases in July, even if they haven't been on the employee pricing bandwagon. The annual selling rate is 20 million-plus vehicles. That's a lot of cars and trucks.
In fact, the employee-pricing bit was so successful that General Motors changed its mind about ending it when Ford and the Chrysler group extended their programs another month.
I don't care what anyone else says; the elimination of the major source of haggling when buying a car has had great appeal to a lot of folks who bought cars and trucks during the past two months.
Meanwhile, over at DaimlerChrysler, there will be a new leader who is everyone's favorite.
It is remarkable that Dieter Zetsche, a fellow that people knew they would hate when he arrived in Auburn Hills, Mich., to run the Chrysler group, became everyone's favorite for the top job in Germany.
Zetsche is a remarkably congenial fellow who became good cop to Wolfgang Bernhard's bad cop. The good cop became the popular choice throughout DaimlerChrysler. His experience at Freightliner gave him the right background for the Chrysler job, and he understood the market and the people.
Zetsche will do a very good job in Germany. He needs only to find the right person to run Mercedes. In Tom LaSorda, Zetsche has the right guy in Auburn Hills. He'll have Eric Ridenour for products, and that's not a bad thing. The only danger is to become too conservative based on Chrysler's recent successes.
And the U.S. Congress passed an energy bill that will have little or no impact on the automobile business. Congress still is not able to tackle the really tough energy choices that are facing the nation. It probably will continue to postpone action until it's too late to do anything.
This industry is selling more cars and trucks than anyone could have imagined. Everyone is worried about these successful promotions stealing sales from the future and what will happen when the current promotion ends.
Someone is going to come up with another promotion that will keep the momentum going. If you have a choice between selling it today or tomorrow, sell it today. Inventories of 2005 models are getting down to manageable levels, and the haulaways are delivering new 2006s. Marketing works.
It was a busy month, but don't worry: This month is going to be just as exciting. It always is.