If you were at the New York auto show last week or just read about what went on, you quickly realized that consumers and dealers have more product choices than ever.
And the offerings these days run the gamut. Just recently I saw a TV commercial for a car that was selling for $10,000. It was reliable transportation at a very low price.
The same day, I received a brochure in the mail from Porsche for its new 918 Spyder, which is expected to retail for more than $800,000. And then there's the new Ferrari that was shown at Geneva with a price tag of well over $1 million.
Of course, many people thought that with the advent of tougher fuel economy, emission and safety standards, we would never have the sort of vehicles that we enjoyed in the 1970s. But it certainly looks like those people were all wrong.
Today, there are more choices than ever for consumers and for dealers to stock their showrooms.
Take Chevrolet: Not only does it have a new Corvette and the Volt plug-in hybrid, with lots of range, but it has just reintroduced the Camaro Z/28, another icon in the car business. And there is everything in between.
Just about every brand has a breadth of choices for its customers that give better value than ever before. It's really quite remarkable -- and all this after the economy was about as bad as it could get.
Every time someone shows up with an excellent new model, I figure, "That's it, the well must have gone dry." And then there is another and another in an endless parade of great new products.
At the same time competition is fierce. New brands and a couple of mergers and acquisitions have changed the face of the global auto industry. All that competition will probably lead to overproduction, and that will lead to incentives, and we'll be back in the soup like a few years ago
Automobile manufacturers have never been able to show any type of restraint, and I don't expect them to show any now. Business gets better, and everyone throws good judgment out the window.