In two or three days, Detroit will be empty. I have no doubt that the auto people in Los Angeles and New Jersey also will be packing their bags and heading out of town.
Manufacturing plants across the nation will turn off their lights, and their employees will head somewhere, yet they all will receive their normal paychecks at the end of the month.
The automobile industry will shut for 10 days. No, it's not a production adjustment although some might hope that would be the case to enable them to adjust their inventories a bit. Everything will grind to a halt.
Or will it?
Chances are that hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks will be sold to happy consumers during the last week in December. Millions of dollars of crash parts and replacement parts will be installed in customers' vehicles, and lots of people will have their vehicles repaired at franchised dealerships across the country.
Manufacturers may take a 10-day vacation, but the automobile business continues to rock every day of the year. For example, Longo Toyota closes only on Christmas Day.
We might be pilloried for the suggestion, but if the people at the automobile companies want to get serious about success or failure, they might want to stick around and see whether they can help move some of that iron.
When the UAW was in its heyday, workers negotiated a paid vacation from Christmas through New Year's Day. They still have it. And all the white-collar workers get the same holiday. The imports adopted their domestic brethren's vacation schedule, and when the transplant factories opened, they did the same.
Everyone owes the UAW a big debt for creating an industrywide holiday.
But I doubt that we'll see the usual stream of automobiles with Michigan license plates heading for Florida this year. There are difficult times ahead for the UAW, and most of its members understand that it's time to salt away money in case there is a strike.
So the auto dealer will keep this nation humming and let everyone else have a holiday.
It might be a novel idea if some of those factory executives need to have their cars fixed at dealerships. It might be an eye-opening experience for some of them.
Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to everyone.