CAN YOU SAY “EXOGENOUS”?
That’s the $5 word one heard a lot over the weekend at the NADA convention. The real danger to the auto industry is “an exogenous shock,” or one from outside that carmakers can’t control, warned Ford Chairman Bill Ford. The big concern underlying this year’s dealer gathering is the likelihood of war with Iraq. “Outwardly, dealers are happy, but inside, they’re a nervous wreck,” said consultant J Ferron, head of the automotive practice at consulting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Until the crisis in the Persian Gulf is resolved, industry officials added, it will be tough to make any real forecasts for the coming year, and even to do any serious planning. “If we’ve been in overdrive the last few years,” said Ferron, right now, “we’re in-between gears.”