Bold Predictions: What Will Happen in 2010 and Beyond

Acura ZDX

Acura ZDX: Sales success or epic fail?

We have to admit, 2009 sucked for just about everyone. Everyone, that is, who didn’t go bankrupt and fall back on billions of dollars of government money. For the rest of us, it was a year of saving money and cutting back to one Starbucks a day. But hey, we have to make sacrifices, right?

We all hope 2010 will be better, and it’s already looking up. I’m not ready to say it’ll be all beer and Skittles, but I do think we’ll see improvements over last year. How will the auto industry adapt? Here’s what I predict will change in the coming year, and beyond. Strap in, this is a wild ride.

1. The Camaro sinks

Yeah, the Camaro outsold the Mustang in every month they were both on sale together in 2009. But there are only so many die-hard Camaro fans, and they’ve all made their purchase already. Watch for sinking sales numbers as the Mustang only gets more popular.

2. Micro cars sputter

As much as the federal government will hate to see this, Americans won’t buy tiny cars in mass quantities. Ford will sell a few Fiestas, and Chrysler will sell a few Fiat 500s (on novelty alone). The small-car market will stick around, but it won’t be enough to change our buying patterns.

3. Gas prices stay the same

Or go down. I don’t think we’ll see $4 gas again anytime soon, which means Americans won’t buy many micro cars. We’ll keep right on being happy with the 20 miles per gallon our sedans and small SUVs get.

4. BMW X6 and Acura ZDX get discounted

It won’t take long for people with some common sense to decide these slope-backed nonsense CUVs aren’t good for anything beyond heading to the local grocery store for a quart of Haagen Dazs. Try to load in the patio furniture that’s on sale at the Home Depot, and you’ll quickly be calling to borrow a friend’s Honda Pilot.

5. The non-traditional sedan takes off

And by this I mean cars like the Porsche Panamera. Yeah, that car has caused some controversy, but it won’t be long before less-expensive copies begin showing up. Sedans with added cargo space and a hatchback rear end are the future! Embrace it.

6. GM becomes niche automaker of trucks and sports cars

The government wants GM to make smaller cars. The public isn’t going to want smaller cars. GM will have to keep selling its Camaro, Corvette, CTS-V, and Silverado to have any hope of paying back its federal loans.

7. Chrysler’s comeback fails

Fiat’s going to give it a valiant effort, but in the end it’ll be too little too late, and Fiat will cut its losses and bail.

8. Hyundai and Kia lead America’s sales charts

A heavy value proposition goes a long way these days, and no automotive company offers more value than Hyundai/Kia. Both are strengthening their U.S. presence and building a reputation for quality and longevity. Look for the Koreans to enter the list of top 10 sellers in America!

9. Toyota and Nissan go back to compact pickup market, give up on full-size trucks

Obviously, American auto companies excel at one thing: the pickup. Nissan’s Titan can’t compete, and now the Toyota Tundra is falling prey to rust problems. Neither can compete with the perennial best-sellers F-150, Silverado, and Ram. Look for Toyota and Nissan to downsize the Tacoma and Frontier.

10. The Chevy Volt works, but doesn’t sell

Kudos to GM! It successfully builds and releases (finally) the hyped Volt, and it lives up to expectations. Trouble is, gas is only $2.50 per gallon, and no one can justify paying $40,000 for a small family sedan. Hate to say it, but the Volt could go the way of the EV1. With luck a Cadillac version (the Converj?) will hold on as a top-quality eco-toy until the market truly demands electric vehicles.

Think I’m wrong on any of this? Want to agree with any predictions here? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

-tgriffith

1 Comment

  1. Oh very cynical but I think youve a point GM in the US is a niche car maker as is Ford and Chrysler they only build cars for the US market as nobody else pays so little for gas so theres no export potential and US performance cars are easily outdone in Europe. And Australia has better cars from GM and Ford than you guys can dream of and cant get any more if you drove a Falcon youd never even think of a Taurus but Ford wont let you. Chrysler will go down again. Fiat 500s are a cool little car luckil;y having no resemblance to the original which was HORRIBLE.Gas prices are on the way up out here thanx to speculators next time someone runs amok with a gun please do it on wall street theres a medal in it 4 you. The Koreans are only starting and will easily outdo the Jap makers just give them time and a few more stupid ideas like Acura zdx. VOLT is coming with a Holden badge for Pacific consumption $6 gallon gas is normal out here it might succeed but a Holden V6 can get 40mpg now so it might not my 10 year old Peugeot wagon does 48 mpg its a diesel and newer ones are better ask Ford they use Pug diesel engines as does Jaguar and Landrover and they perform you cant get those either only BMW which isnt that good.

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