Isn't this a wonderful time of year?
Although the holidays are over and spring is still a long way off, there's a natural exuberance in the air.
It's bowl time, and even though the Bowl Championship Series determines the official No. 1 college team in the nation, frenzied fans of every winning team -- sporting body paint, donning ill-fitting clothing in the school colors and shouting "We're No. 1, we're No. 1!" -- can't resist the urge to make exaggerated claims and boast a little.
It's like that in the auto industry, too.
Bragging rights are important to car guys and their fans. There have been years when either General Motors or Ford Motor Co. would delay releasing their year-end sales numbers to see what the other guy had done. It's all in an effort to hoot and holler the loudest as they nail down a claim to be No. 1 in this category or that.
This year, Toyota fans are sticking their (index) fingers in the air and bragging that their team has toppled Chevrolet to become the No. 1, best-selling brand in the country. To make that claim, they lump Scion sales into the total because Scions are sold at some Toyota division dealerships.
Chevy fans are crying foul, so it's time for an official review.
Scion is a separate brand, Chevy partisans argue. It is a distinct brand DNA with its own logo that was created to lure younger buyers who avoid the Toyota brand.
Upon further review, isn't that exactly what Chevrolet did with its Geo brand?
From 1989 through the 1997 model year, some Chevrolet dealerships sold Geo small cars and trucks that had their own logo and brand identity. Yet GM always reported Geo sales as part of Chevrolet.
Come to think of it, maybe that's not really exuberance in the air.
It might just be some static electricity.
Time to get on with the game.