| 12:44 PM EST

A Message from the Editors in a Time of Uncertainty

A little help from your friends at AutoBeat. . .


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A colleague sent us a chart from LMC Automotive that shows what could happen to U.S. auto sales as a result of COVID-19.

As you can imagine, it is not pretty. Although sales were predicted to slow this year before any virus began its relentless spread, LMC says that U.S. light vehicle sales could be down to 16 million in 2020 and down to 15.2 million next year. Both those numbers are compared to the firm’s earlier 16.5 million prediction for both years.

For comparison, 2019 sales were 17 million.

This is not to make you feel worse than you probably do right now, with all of your plans thrown up in the air and no certainty as to where they’ll come down.

When the Going Gets Tough

It is meant to say that the industry is in for tough times, and we’d like to help—in some small way—you right now and in the weeks and months ahead.

As for the help right now, we’re going to continue to provide whatever news we can find in the industry and report it every day.

And perhaps more importantly, we’re going to provide you with articles that may have already run at some point in the past, articles that you may have missed and articles that we think you’ll find to be interesting, diverting, educational and quite possibly amusing.

We could all use some of that right now.

Tools That Can Help

As for the weeks and months ahead, we would like to draw your attention to the categories and pull-down menus at the top of the page, Materials, Design and Production, in particular.

There you’ll find information about the tools and techniques that can be deployed to help with product development and manufacturing productivity.

Everyone is going to need to be more efficient as the industry re-ramps, and the items you can find in those categories can be useful.

And we’ll admit that there is some information in those sections that you might find diverting, too.

There can be the temptation to spend a whole lot of time on social media looking for items about the latest—be it real or false—related to the outbreak.

We should all practice what professor of computer science at Georgetown and author Cal Newport calls “digital minimalism” when it comes to that. Check reputable sites (e.g. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) a couple times a day and then a local newspaper or TV station and then spend time doing what it takes if you’re working from home to do the work.

And we hope that you check back to this page with some frequency because we think that we can add some value.

We all need to try.

Stay well.