This year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit is bigger and better by just about any standard.
Press and industry days were last week, and thousands of journalists from 64 countries were represented at the show.
The automobile manufacturers didn't disappoint them. There were plenty of new cars and concepts and enough excitement to keep reporters hopping.
There were the obligatory examples of green vehicles. Lexus was a prime player by announcing the availability later this year of its top-of-the-line sedan with a high-performance hybrid powerplant.
But the real excitement seemed to center on design and performance. There was the rebirth of the Detroit muscle car, with examples from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group. There was something new from just about everyone, whether it was a reskinned model or a brand-new platform, and there were all those new models to write about.
The amazing part was the optimism everyone expressed about the business. It may have been a brave front from some, but it seemed genuine.
Sure, there was talk about GM and Ford and their future, but even that seemed overwhelmed by all the new products.
Everyone was in Detroit last week. It may not be anyone's favorite time of the year, but the show has become a must event: It's too important to miss.
It demonstrates dramatically once again the importance of product. There are few problems at any company that can't be cured with a dramatic introduction of new models and a commensurate increase in sales. A 10 percent sales increase makes a lot of problems go away.
There is even greater attention to design. Many of the Asian brands once seemed to look at design as an afterthought. Not anymore.
They all understand the importance of design and style for their vehicles and are spending more time and money to make sure their vehicles look better than ever.
There wasn't a bad car at the show. Some might be better than others, but there weren't any turkeys. The competition has never been tougher, and the stakes have never been higher.