Just in case you haven't noticed, the price of gasoline plummeted in the last few weeks.
For some reason, no one said anything about the 25-cent drop in price. No TV, no newspapers. It's a secret.
Do the consumer media report gasoline prices only when they go up?
Maybe, if we're lucky, the oil companies will be able to raise the price two bits by the end of this week, when the Labor Day holiday begins.
It really doesn't matter if you're General Motors or Ford or Toyota. It should be good news when the price of gasoline has gone down, especially with the launch of the new Toyota and GM trucks and the softening of Ford's F series.
No one can really tell us just how sensitive the U.S. automobile business is to the rising price of fuel. Nor can anyone say whether consumers will simply adjust their buying habits or change them permanently.
It's hard and dangerous to assume that anyone can predict accurately how the customer will act in the future.
Gasoline that sells for $4 a gallon will have some impact if and when it arrives. No one knows how much impact or for how long.
Meanwhile, the country has had some pleasant relief from higher prices, and everyone hopes it will be permanent.
Certainly, one of the ways our federal government can decrease our dependence on foreign oil is a much higher tax on fuel, as has been done in most parts of the world.
The price of gasoline in this country is a bargain compared with prices in Europe and Asia. And while some countries put a much smaller tax on diesel fuel to increase the purchase of diesel-powered vehicles and save even more petroleum, diesel fuel is on par with gasoline in the United States, which doesn't really make a lot of sense if we are interested in conservation.
Gasoline prices have dropped dramatically. Too bad the world doesn't know about it.
Keith Crain is publisher and editor-in-chief of Automotive News.