Here we are, ready to put all our New Year's resolutions into action.
It's only a couple of weeks until press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where there will be plenty of national and international discussions and rumors.
There will be lots of talk about what's going on with Porsche and Volkswagen. That's bound to be center stage for all the Europeans.
And, for everybody, Chrysler's potential hookup with Renault/Nissan has to create some fascinating conversation. Everyone knows that Carlos Ghosn has been hoping for a third leg for his alliance. Since he has already eliminated General Motors and Ford, Chrysler is all that's left. Yet Chrysler may be the U.S. automaker that now makes the most sense.
With carbon dioxide concerns and CAFE, governments are placing fuel economy and emissions at center stage. Companies doing business here and in Europe have to worry about both at the same time.
All auto people are worried about a recession and the tightening of credit in the United States. This market runs on credit, and a credit crunch will mean tough sledding.
In Europe, the economy has been sluggish at best, and I haven't heard any great discussions about dramatic improvements coming anytime soon.
It seems like only China is looking at continuing double-digit percentage growth. Sooner or later, China will slow down, but it doesn't look like it will happen soon. Japan will see the growth of a major competitor as well as a customer.
If you want to see Chinese products, show up in Detroit in a couple of weeks. Five manufacturers will display their cars at the show. So far, they are just showing cars, but you can only wonder how long it will be before they have five manufacturers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention as well.
There are plenty of things to worry about, and there are plenty of things to be thankful for in the auto industry. That's what makes it so interesting.
For me, after more than three decades, the business is as challenging and always-changing as ever. It's probably going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. This business is never, ever dull.