Automobile executives are optimists. It comes with the territory. Even in the darkest times, someone must try to move the iron so everyone stays as upbeat as possible.
For the past few years, things have been bleak in the U.S. automobile industry, when you consider how many cars and trucks were sold just a few years ago.
Last year was OK for a recovery year. But just about everyone is forecasting pretty good sales for this year. There are disagreements about just how good U.S. sales will be in 2012, but most forecasts are within a couple hundred thousand units.
Not everyone agrees about the status and future of Europe. There is uncertainty and general concern about the economy there for this year.
But there has been a buzz in the air about the United States. Everyone seems optimistic about the automotive economy during the next 12 months. It's a pleasure to be surrounded by positive thinking.
It was a lot of fun to be around the North American International Auto Show during media days last week. The dour faces were gone. Europeans, Asians and Americans were all upbeat.
And there wasn't an ugly car in sight. No one had a turkey hidden in a corner. It was a remarkable display of very good vehicles.
The show cars, new-model introductions and the entire hall had most people smiling. There seems to be a new class of automobile that is called the prototype. But it is so close to being ready for production that it might as well be called a production model.
Several cars were revealed with a wink and a nod when they were called concepts -- except they will be in production in a matter of months.
It was a good week to be in the automobile business. It also was nice to have mild weather in Detroit for a January car show.
There are always dark clouds on the horizon. But they didn't dampen the enthusiasm for the United States. Let's hope that the automobile industry continues to grow.
It sure is better reporting good news than bad news.