Yes, the Beatles' lyric "help me if you can, I'm feeling down" might apply to many people in the auto industry right now. Things turned out a hell of a lot better sales-wise in 2001 than almost anyone had anticipated-before or after September 11-yet this year seems to be somewhat less bullish for many makers. The various and sundry layoffs that characterized the latter part of last year and the start of this one will certainly mean that visits to dealerships will become somewhat less frequent, no matter how low the financing goes. When you don't have it to spend, you just don't have it. (Unless, of course, you like to be visited by the repo man.)
My point here isn't to get anyone depressed. February tends to be a cold, dark month (at least in Detroit), and no one needs any more of that. What I do want to do is to ask for your help.
Recognizing that AD&P is a magazine that you read for or at work, we figure that one of the things that we need to be doing here is providing something that's useful-as well as entertaining, provocative, interesting, vexing, enjoyable, and otherwise worth reading. To make sure that we are providing you with what you're interested in, we figure that the best thing to do is ask. So if you'd please do me a favor and jot down some answers, then submit this back to me, I'd be deeply appreciative. Please note that your answers will not be used against you; no salesmen will call.
We will simply compile your answers and figure out what direction we need to be heading in to help all of you head in the right direction. And that direction is not down.