As automakers reported weak January sales, there was a welcome and healthy reaction from dealers, auto company executives and those following the industry.
Nobody is panicking.
Yes, January's sales pace of 15.24 million vehicles was well below the monthly sales estimates many on Wall Street had issued over the last two weeks. But the slew of storms and the severe cold weather that hammered much of the country last month is the reason many are not concerned.
(Read more: GM, Ford sales sink on weather)
"We had days last month when nobody came in the showroom," said Scott Adams, who owns Adams Toyota in suburban Kansas City. "When it warmed up a few days later, we had a lot of customers. In fact, we had a few record sales days for a January."
Adams' description was echoed across the industry.
Call it the continental divide. January U.S. sales were relatively strong west of the Rockies, where the weather was mild, but it was a different story east of the Rockies.
On Ford's monthly sales call, executives estimated industry sales were down 10 percent or more in the central U.S. and 1 percent to 9 percent in the East and Southeast.
(Read more: Ford: We'll roll out 16 new models in 2014)
What really did in many dealers was the second blast of storms late in the month.
"It seemed like sales rebounded and picked up in the middle of the month, but once the second polar vortex hi, dealers couldn't recover the lost sales," said Jessica Caldwell with Edmunds.com.