We enter 2001 amid many uncertainties: a new president, a reeling stock market, lower corporate earnings, increased layoffs, fluctuating raw material prices and questions involving tire safety.
But before writing off 2001, it's worth remembering that the U.S. has just completed its fifth consecutive year of record tire shipments. And this year, shipments are expected to decline by only 1 percent.
Consumers also have a new awareness of tires and the need to maintain them, which could drive more business into dealers' bays.
The forecast for new car sales in 2001 calls for the third highest total ever. Yes, there's uncertainty, but lots of positive omens as well.
Here's wishing the positive ones come true.