Bark's Bites: Bold Predictions for 2015
So it’s that time of year when automotive outlets do a recap of the year that’s ending, with wistful recollections of their awesome press junkets, free loaner cars, and gifts they’ve received.
Bah. Let’s live through the windshield, shall we?
The best part about doing a Predictions column is that if you’re right on even ONE of them, you look like a genius. The bolder your prediction, the better, too. So let’s get to it!
The Chevrolet Trax Will Be a Massive Hit for GM
Eh, that’s not very bold. But we’ve gotta start somewhere, right? With the Encore already doing better than anybody predicted, a lower-cost version with wider distribution should be a no-brainer. Look for it to leap to the top of the segment upon its introduction.
The ATS-V Will Be a Non-Participant on Sales Reports
While the specs are impressive, the rental counter looks aren’t. Sure, it’s got some scoops and spoilers and what not, but nary an M4 buyer will seriously consider it, unless he’s doing some bargain hunting. The ATS needs to go back to formula.
But it Will Make the Alfa Romeo 4C Look Like Another Cadillac—the ELR
Whispers are that this car is wildly underwhelming. Not enough power, too heavy, too expensive, bad dealer network. Yikes.
I Will Finally Grasp Mercedes-Benz’s Naming Conventions
Seriously, I don’t know the difference between a CL or a CLS or an SLK or whatever the hell else they’re selling. But this new structure makes sense, even to a public college dropout like me.
Ford Will Sell 130,000 Mustangs This Year
That would be a twenty-year high water mark for the pony car. The new Mustang is just that good, despite my early whining and moaning about it. The Ecoboost model is affordable and is already drawing the attention of the Fast and Furious set for its ability to be modified and retain much of its warranty. The GT is every bit as good as the outgoing Boss (damnit), even if it is every bit as much money in top trim. And the GT350? Well…
And One of Them Will Be a GT350 in My Driveway
If I can keep the Boss, great, but I can’t turn down a 500 horsepower, flat-crank, naturally aspirated V8 Mustang. If you’re sick of my writing about my white-trash mobile, brace yourself for another year of Mustang-related prose. It’s coming.
Mid-size Trucks Will Continue to be a Yawner
Despite what we automotive journalists WANT to happen, the decreasing price of oil makes buying a full-size truck a non-decision. More power, more space, more testosterone, and virtually no penalty at the pump? Sign me up. There’s just very few places in Truck Country where Smaller is Better.
It’s the Beginning of the End for BMW
Too many models, too many four-cylinders, not enough panache. Audi and Mercedes are moving in the right direction. It’s become somewhat cliche for journalists to say that the boys in Munich have “lost their way,” but this is the year that the consumers start to agree with them.
2015 Will Be the Best Year Yet to Spend $150K on a Car
With the Viper, 991 GT3, Z06, GT-R, and NSX all vying for your money, you literally can’t make a bad choice when stepping up to a wannabe supercar. But who cares? More importantly…
It Will Also Be the Best Year to Spend $30K on a Car
Have we ever seen such a strong crop of mid-size sedans from all comers? It’s hard to find a dog among them. With Chrysler finally improving the 200 into a contender, there are literally half a dozen legitimately good choices for the new car buyer. It’s a good time to be alive.
Damn, still nothing earth-shattering. Okay, let’s swing for the fences on this last one, shall we?
Tesla Will Be For Sale in 2015
The Emperor’s New Clothes are starting to fall off. Sales numbers don’t match registrations. Oil prices are artificially low. Even in peak selling conditions, Tesla couldn’t make the inroads they wanted—how will they do it when oil is hovering around $55 a barrel? Elon Musk had the cards stacked his way, but he couldn’t capitalize. The party is likely over for Tesla by the end of the year—and likely in a sale to an unlikely buyer (Apple? Google?).
There you have it. Remember, I just need ONE to look like Nostradamus. Which one will it be?
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- Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
- Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
- Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
- Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
- Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.
Here are mine: 1. The Trax, HR-V, Renegade and CX-3 will all be massive hits 2. BMW will continue to piss off auto enthusiasts which will hit the internet forums in droves and cry like babies. In the meantime BMW sales and market share will continue to grow. 3. Cadillac will continue to pretend the ATS is a 3 series competitor even though its sized like the A3 and CLA. Sales will not recover. 4. Volvo will become an irrelevant brand to anyone living outside of Sweden. 5. Cars will become faster, safer and more efficient and forum rats will continue to whine about how much better old cars were. 6. Acura and Lincoln will continue to be the Nickelback of cars brands: Everyone loves to trash them but they will continue to make money. 7. The Hellcat will be squeezed into every Chrysler product that can accommodate it (and it will make them awesome). 8. Gas prices will go back to $3.50 causing stunned disbelief among those that rushed out and bought a Hellcat equipped Ram 3500.
Gas will fall and then come back up. DME based fuel and engines will start getting a foothold in the heavy haulage market (think diesel-electric trains, long haul/short haul trucks, stationary power equipment, marine), anything to which the government can slap increasingly stringent emissions targets. Small CUV's (think Honda HRV) will continue to erode market share/sales numbers of compact/subcompact sedans (think Honda Civic/Honda Fit). The NSX will be a flop. Too little too late. 4th, 5th, 6th generation Honda Civic/CRX/Integra Si/Type-R's will continue to appreciate in value. Mazda's will continue to rust more so than other cars. And just like my BMW loving ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-gf, BMW will continue to decline as she does. On a personal note, I will most likely join some salsa performance group, finally becoming a really good dancer.