Mark Barnes, VW, at the 2009 Chicago auto show

Mark Barnes is Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of America.

I asked all the executives the same questions:

1. Are we looking at a fundamental downsizing of the industry?

2. What is the one thing that will capture the imagination and wallet of tomorrow’s buyer?

3. The car used to be a symbol of freedom and status. Has the car become a burden around the consumer’s neck?

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.