Final Inspection

Breaking Bread, Knocking Down Barriers

One of the things that make the auto industry special is that it really is a global village. What affects one region of the world touches us all.

WardsAuto editors recently broke bread with executives from an overseas supplier who were in town to hold a press briefing on their latest vehicle technology.

You never can be sure how these sorts of informal get-to-know-you meetings will go. Sometimes they are all business, but on other occasions they are the sharing of good company and a few hearty laughs. This was one of those times.

As we English, Germans and Americans sat around the restaurant table discussing technology, social media, politics and a bit about our personal selves, there was a warm feeling of camaraderie. That’s one of the things that make the auto industry special, because it really is a global village. What affects one region of the world touches us all.

The timing of our meeting was a happy coincidence as WardsAuto rolls out its annual state of the international auto industry Monday through Thursday of this week.

The year 2012 has been an economic challenge for some world regions, particularly Europe, and a  resurgence for others, including the U.S. Even some emerging markets are facing harder landings than first thought.

As with the upcoming U.S. presidential election, pundits aren’t able to predict how things will turn out for the industry driving into next year. But you can catch a glimpse of what’s to come and why.

Please take a look at our "2013 Automotive Outlook: International" report and let us know what you think. We welcome a good conversation.

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What's Final Inspection?

WardsAuto editors share insights and observations on the global auto industry.


David E. Zoia

As Editorial Director, I oversee much of what goes into, enjoying a ringside seat that lets me observe up close just about every facet of the industry worldwide. I have covered the...

James M. Amend

James Amend is an associate editor at, covering day-to-day business and product news at General Motors. He also leads coverage of regulatory and environmental issues, as well as the...
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