We all came in to Detroit this weekend expecting doom and gloom.
Yes, meeting old friends on both sides of the journalist/corporate wall called for some name-badge staring, to see if they were still employed at all, let alone by whoever they had been working for last week.
And there was a lot less glitz than before. Fewer Kodo drummers. Fewer fancy video presentations.
And fewer Hospitality Suites after the show - the budget cuts are real, my friends.
What was most interesting though was that most car companies seemed to have a real product story to tell.
Everyone agrees that the three secrets to success in the car game are, product, product and product.
Environmental stuff is taking centre stage, despite the fact that gasoline is once again free here in the US, and sales of small cars have already started to nose-dive.
But (almost) everyone thinks this will be temporary, and sooner or later, the customer will demand greater efficiency.
When/if they do, it behooves the manufacturers to be ready for them.
That said, there is still plenty of interest in high-performance cars, the stuff of automotive dreams.
Lots to write about - as you will continue to see...