Derek's 2014 Predictions: Which Ones Came True?
January 5th, 2015 2:57 PM Share
Last year, I made a few predictions about events in the auto industry. I firmly believe in being held accountable when making these statements. Most journalists have zero skin in the game and make outlandish pronouncements about product planning, regulations and other matters. These are quickly lost in the ether of the online news cycle, and the idiocy of their statements is forgotten as soon as you can say “brown diesel wagon”. Let’s see how I fared in 2014.
- Wrong: The Jeep Cherokee will sell 125,000 units in 2014. I based this number on early sales figures, as well as Toledo being capacity limited to 500,000 units per year, with almost half of those being taken up by Wranglers. Jeep ended up selling 178,508 units of the Cherokee, about 3,000 more than the Wrangler. But I’ve yet to see a Wrangler in a rental fleet, or sold at a heavy discount…
- Right: The Nissan Rogue will outsell the Cherokee. I picked this one because the automotive media was doing their best to hype up the Cherokee’s 10,000 unit per month sales figure – rather unimpressive in a segment where the Honda CR-V does nearly 3.5 times that. There are few things I hate more than journalists of ostensibly respectable publications acting as blatant cheerleaders for any OEM. When it’s a Detroit based writer doing so for the Big 3, it’s even worse. And when the product proved to be deeply flawed, and TTAC was the only publication besides Consumer Reports to say so, it made me even angrier. So, I picked the Nissan Rogue, possibly the most boring CUV of all, the antithesis of the admittedly stylish, technologically ambitious Cherokee, an utterly pedestrian commodity that the Piloti-shod wankers of the enthusiast press would surely sneer at. And it beat the Cherokee by nearly 20,000 units on its way to becoming one of the top 5 selling CUVs.
- Right: The full-size car market will continue to decline in 2014. According to Tim Cain, early numbers show that full-size cars lost market share, going from 4.0% in 2013, to 3.5% in 2014.
- Right: Hyundai will launch its own small crossover in 2014. Hyundai launched the ix25 in China this year.
- Right: “The shine will wear off of the Cadillac ATS, now that Cadillac PR isn’t paying attention, and the CTS V-Sport is basking in the warm glow of the hometown hype machine. Like the Camaro before it, the enthusiast press will cease its hyperbolic praise of the smallest Cadillac and call it for what it is: a competent, but not fully baked alternative to the Germans and Lexus” Witness the lambasting of Cadillac’s new naming scheme, its move to New York City and its new brand guru Melody Lee. On the other hand, I drove the ATS and I liked it.
Check back later for my 2015 predictions.
Published January 5th, 2015 2:57 PM
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"But I’ve yet to see a Wrangler in a rental fleet." Really? Maybe not everywhere, but they are very common in Hawaii, they rent them in Las Vegas and I think Florida, Southern Cal and other spots (oddly, in Boston, too). I'm sure there are other places. I'm talking national rental agencies. And, many small local places do, too, in touristy areas.
I rented a Wrangler Unlimited a few years back on Grand Cayman from Avis. I liked it as a beach rental, hated the idea of having to live with it outside those parameters.