There was a famous comedy duo that had a humorous routine called "Who's on First?" The shtick was about the confusion between a baseball player and the coach trying to tell him who else is on the team.
I sometimes have a feeling that I am living in the middle of this confusion.
Right now, I have the feeling that half of the executives working in the industry know exactly what is going on and why. They have a lot of experience where they are and it is a world with few surprises.
The other half are new. They are new to the industry or new to their jobs. They are still feeling their way along and doing remarkably good work as they learn their new assignments.
Most of them are fast learners and the ones that are not will wash out and disappear, regardless of their current ranking.
A lot of times the automotive executive is getting mixed messages and trying to figure out if they missed some secret hand signals. (Presumably none that call for stealing or a hit-and-run.)
Meanwhile, the retailer is trying as best they can to understand what is expected of their business and how to keep everyone happy.
All of this is going on while the retailer is being bombarded with all sorts of new directives from government agencies demanding everything from certain ways to handle paint to disposal of used parts.
On top of the issues from local, regional and national government agencies, the dealer is still trying to figure out how to sell cars or SUVs or whatever and whether or not they should worry about electric vehicles or autonomous cars or planes that fly and all the while just trying to make a bunch of customers happy and move the iron.
I am not sure whether Abbott and Costello could have handled these problems, but I think it is highly unlikely.
The challenges today are massive and they are coming from all corners at the same time.
And yet, in spite of all these travails, the auto industry is quite impressive, selling millions of vehicles a year.
You better figure out who is on first or these days you will get eaten alive.