By on December 26, 2018

It’s that special holiday time of year again. For a few short weeks, people go out of their way to be nice to others, and to wish one another the best in the upcoming new year. While the niceness still abounds, we want to know which car manufacturer receives your well-wishes for the future.

It’s not an easy time in the car-making business. Ford’s experiencing low share prices and is implementing irritating buzz-wordy “mobility” talk. Nissan’s CEO recently had a little compensation scandal. General Motors is closing down several plants. And Tesla is finishing their cars in tents purchased from Bass Pro or wherever.

It’s not all bad, though. Truck sales are up, and likewise are sales of profitable crossovers. Consumers have more choice than ever of egg-shaped adventure vehicles to take them to a big-box store for Cyber Monday. But I digress.

(Ed. note — We’re running QOTD late today due to holiday travel. As stated last week, our schedule is going to be a little weird until Jan. 2. Thanks for understanding! — TH).

Whether a manufacturer is down on their luck (Fiat) or doing very well right now (Honda), we want to know which you’d like to see succeed. A single company from which you’d like to see a marked improvement in some area or areas. Perhaps the company needs a turn-around in reliability, build quality, or their model lineup. I’m building to something here.

My pick is Volvo. The plucky Geely-owned Swedish brand is on the upward swing lately, in sales and product offering. And I think they can do more. Their present models aren’t what they used to be. Volvos of old were no-nonsense boxes with a bit of luxury (sometimes), designed to run for a long time without much fuss. They were prestigious, but in a subtle and unassuming way. Sturdy, hard-wearing; like a well-constructed tweed blazer. With the introduction of the 850 model in the early ’90s, Volvo headed down a different path (which Ford paved ahead through the new century). It’s a path they still seem to be on today; cost-cutting, front-drive, disposable vehicles. Buttons peel, electrics and sensors have issues, and nothing feels special or unique. Perhaps Geely can continue Volvo’s upward trajectory; they’ve let the brand have general independence since assuming control in 2010. I’m hopeful.

Time will tell for Volvo. But for now, tell us which car manufacturer you want to thrive.


[Images: General Motors, Volvo]

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50 Comments on “QOTD: Best Wishes for Future Success?...”


  • avatar

    It is a shame the Impala could not compete with the Maxima. With the exception of the Corvette there isn’t much GM builds that is competitive with Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Nissan? Of all the JDM manufacturers you picked to compare as better than GM you picked Nissan?

      Nissan filled the sub prime void created when Pontiac left us. Nissan franchises don’t make money for anyone, nor do Infinitis. There is a reason why AutoNation quickly divested themselves of all of their Nissan franchises. Same with another large dealer group in Chicago, who literally gave the franchise back. Wasn’t worth selling.

      As for what GM makes that is competitive to Nissan? As evidenced by sales volume:

      Silverado/Siera > Titan
      Suburban/Yukon/Tahoe > Armada. While the Aramada is not terrible, it is a gas guzzling tank.

      Equinox/Terrain = Rogue
      Altima = rolling credit score indicator.

      Pathfinder: pretty decent rig, though not something that stands apart in a really crowded field of 3 row CUV’s.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Agreed. Nissan brings up the rear – rental/fleet fodder. A crap brand.

      • 0 avatar

        I originally was going to do a comparison between GM and Toyota, but that would be a blow out in Toyota’s favor. Let’s now do a systematic comparison between GM and Nissan vehicles. I will try to make this list unbiased. I think the first thing you will notice about this list is the devastating effect the recent GM car culling has had on company’s overall lineup competitiveness.

        Small Cars
        Nissan Versa VS sonic – Sonic looks like it will be cancelled. Versa wins this comparison, though as a car it is nothing to write home about.

        Sentra vs Cruze – Sentra wins due to the Cruze’s cancellation. Beside the Sentra outsells the Cruze by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

        Altima VS Malibu – Altima is currently the third best-selling Sedan in North America. Still I believe in buying American so when I trade my Fusion in I will most likely get the Malibu. Altima still wins due to superior sales and reliability. Also it has a more secure future than the Malibu, which was the only GM sedan not culled last November. Altima wins.

        Maxima VS Impala. The Impala is a good sedan, but it is being cancelled. A forfeit victory for the Maxima. However, the new Maxima is a much improved “sports sedan”.

        Rogue VS Traverse – Rogue is the second best-selling CUV in North America. According to Consumer Reports it is also more reliable than the Traverse. Rogue wins this one.

        Infiniti Q30 VS CT6. The CT6 was perhaps the best GM sedan ever built, and it is my favorite GM vehicle. Unfortunately, it is being culled and thus the Q30 wins by Forfeit.

        Infiniti VS Cadillac – With the cancellation of the ATS, CTS, and CT6 Infiniti is pretty much better than Cadillac at everything. The XT4 has been getting disappointing reviews, which is not a good sign!

        Corvette – What can I say, it is probably the best American car ever built. It is one of the few GM bright spots. GM wins here.

        Volt VS Leaf – Volt cancelled. Leaf Wins.

        Large Pickups – GM wins.

        Small Pickups – Nissan wins.

        Market share – Last year Nissan replaced GM as the world’s third best-selling carmaker. I thought I would never see the day that GM was not in the top three in sales. I guess the old adage you can’t cut your way to success applies here.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        You have to admit the Kicks is superior to the Trax at least.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      LOL. Now THAT, was a good one right there I dont care who ya are.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Impala outsells Maxima, especially since Nissan pulled back from the Fleet Buffet (which saw Maxima sales fall 70% in one month. Even the extremely old Ford Taurus outsells the Maxipad. That’s some hero you picked. Really shows your grasp of the automotive industry in totality.

      Let’s talk about actual profitable vehicles. GM trucks sell more in good a month than Titan does all year. Traverse outsells Pathfinder. Tahoe outsells Armada. Escalade outsells the QXwtf974730 or whatever they changed its name to. What a fine example you thought of! Nissan needs your well wishing.

    • 0 avatar
      Giltibo

      Nissan has lost a lot of its quality when it went to bed with Renault, which is about the worst junk you can find, internationally (except maybe Fiat and the Tata brand).

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    This is fairly easy for me to decide. I wish VW continued success or improving success in the future. I’ve always had a soft spot for VW’s aesthetics, but have avoided pulling the trigger because internet wisdom has it that VW should be avoided like the plague with electrical issues, parts that fail far sooner than should be expected, and myriad other niggles. Since I’ve never owned one and my experience with them is strictly second-hand I don’t know how many grains of salt to place with internet wisdom.

    My aunt had an 04 Beetle 2.0 that she said was a pile of excrement while her 2015 Beetle 2.5 is a good runner. My friend had an 11 Jetta 2.5 that was in and out of the shop for niggling issues since new.

    On a related note: I’ve always had luck with Fords though the internet believes that to be impossible.

    I know these are anecdotes so…

    May VW continue to manufacturer understatedly handsome, with admittedly a few exceptions, into the future.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I pick Dodge. I love that they are making ridiculous cars with tons of power, that make silly noises, and are just all around obnoxious – all while being relatively affordable.
    While I may never actually buy one, I appreciate that someone is still out there doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Yes, imagine if the money wasted on the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 development had been applied to updating the LX platform and Hemi V8 to reduce mass with some of the upgrades being shared across the Ram and Jeep parts bins. Fiat will never get the appeal of vehicles Chrysler can sell at a profit.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    After a recent Accent rental, I wish Hyundai/Genesis well. I think they make a decent product at a fair price, and that should make them thrive. However, they’re a little sedan-heavy, especially on the Genesis side.

    KIA, on the other hand, can get stuffed. Although their product is every bit as good as Hyundai (not surprising, since it’s the same company) their US dealer network is absolutely horrible – Just a half-step above BHPH lots. Fix that, KIA.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Duesenberg

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    Maybe just maybe if car mfg. designed sedans that you can see out of and made it easy to get in and out without hitting your head they would sell. :=)
    Us old folks just don’t fit in these new sedans

  • avatar
    Syke

    Dodge. Because of their history, my personal history with the brand (never had a complaint with one over 36 years now), and because I really don’t want to see any more American brands go away.

    Tesla. Love the cars, hopefully some day I’ll be able to afford one. Love how they’ve managed to toss something different in an otherwise incredibly staid industry. (And I’d really love to see them succeed, just to shut up a few mouthy jackasses on this site.)

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Not a manufacturer, a category – wagons. All manufacturers should build real wagons, some maybe even shooting-brakes.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Mazda – they build decent cars (generally sensible, reliable, and comfortable enough, but still entertaining), they seem to have avoided any galling controversy, they’ve shown that they can acknowledge and attempt to fix their weaknesses (rust and NVH being the two biggest ones), and mostly, that they’re the plucky little guy.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I like Mazda too…on my third Mazda product now. That said, it seems that every Mazda product has one or two significant flaws that prevents it from becomong a truly hit product.

      For example, my 2015 M6 is very awkward to get in/out–roof is too low compared to seat height. The ride is also a bit too firm for most tastes. My 2011CX-9 suffers precisely the same problems.

      Mazda vehicles also tend to lag behind their competitors in terms of horsepower and torque, though my CX-9 with it’s Ford 3.7L V6 is plenty powerful.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I think even the power thing is a little overblown – they’re perfectly competitive in terms of base horsepower, they’re maybe just a little too small to put a lot of money into developing optional engines with more oomph.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    DODGE: Just by the fact that they still carry the banner for RWD performance cars is enough for me to continue rooting for them and give them serious consideration when I am back in the car-buying cycle.

    VW: Still fun to drive and not overstayed to the point of ugliness. Please build another convertible or at least one model with a W in the VIN!

  • avatar

    I have several wishes.

    First one is Tesla – they still can improve production process and design and greatly reduce production costs.
    Second one is for Jim Hackett to go away and Ford to resume development of the new Fusion.
    And Renault to get rid of Nissan and Mitsubishi.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Honda doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Forget Mazda. Honda is carrying the torch for enthusiasts.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      I’m a long time Honda owner and fan, but can’t agree that Honda is carrying the torch for enthusiasts. What are they offering? The NSX and Civic Type R? Great – a hybrid supercar that no-one buys and a big-turbo hatchback.

      No more Accord Coupe. No V6 Accord. No “warm” version of the Fit. Nothing to challenge the Miata. Or the GT86.

      I’m in my early forties and can still remember Honda as a “sporty” car company that offered the S2000, Prelude, Integra, CR-X etc. But those days are a long time in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Agreed. To my mind it used to be that Honda was like the affordable, ultra-reliable BMW brand. All models tilted towards the knowledgeable enthusiast, driver involvement and fun, all well integrated into the overall design and engineering. Too bad both brands have long since strayed from doing that.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          The 4th-Gen (1990-1993) Accord was indeed a “poor-man’s” BMW. But they strayed away from that and into bean-counter land! (Along with losing Acura’s focus, and various turds like the 2nd-Gen Insight, the ZDX and Crosstour.)

          They’ve come back, but they’ve regressed in some areas, like the V6 loss, and the Civic Hatch that looks a little weird! My 2019 Accord will be nice, I’m sure, but I’d rather have it with a V6 and the same interior feel of the 4th-Gens. (The 10th-Gen Accord is close on that score, but the felt where carpeting should be lets it down!, along with the crap mats!)

      • 0 avatar
        King of Eldorado

        If Honda came out with a Fit Si, I’d be down at the dealer right now, as long as it had a sunroof and no outrageous mark-up. And with the additional power and torque, please add a taller 6th gear so it doesn’t turn 3750 rpm at 75 mph like my 2011 manual.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      When they actually put effort into the HR-V, and make at least a semi sporty trim of the CRV, I’ll agree with you. In order to be an “enthusiast” brand, your volume models must offer at least a bit of soul.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      sportyaccordy, the only unique thing Honda does for enthusiasts in 2018 is offer manual transmission versions of >100k/year volume mass market family cars. Dad can still row his own gears in a car with a back seat large enough for child safety seats that won’t spend much unscheduled time in the shop. Scheduled maintenance for that manual transmission Honda will be easy because most places stock parts for high volume models.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Chrysler. If any marque needs some lovin’ it’s the C in FCA.

    It already sells more than Lincoln with only two models. At the very least the lineup should be on par with Buick’s.

  • avatar
    threeer

    As has been mentioned already, Mazda. They’ve always been kind of an outlier, but I’ve admired them for their attempt at focusing on some semblance of driving enjoyment, so much so, that I’m seriously considering a 2018 Mazda3 (with manual, natch) to replace my utterly crappy ’17 Cruze. Problem is, they’re still a bit-player and a vast majority of drivers these days could give three figs about driving dynamics, so Mazda may well continue to play the fringe card…which can still be profitable if done right.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Why didn’t you buy the Mazda to start with? I had a lot of driving time behind a 2010 2.5L 6-speed stick. The biggest issue I had with the 2.5L in the 2010 is that it felt underpowered but with the updated specs with skyactive it should be much better matched to the car. I wouldn’t touch the 2.0l with a 10 ft pole on the other hand.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Tesla, obviously. They need to clamp down on Mr Musk, stop the gimmicks, stabilize the ship, and let the experts run the company.

    Also, Alfa. In a world of boring looking cars, they build interesting stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      TDIandThen....

      +1

      Alfa really have something good going, and if they could get a deal with Fiat’s smart-cute marketing and entry-level customers, change their dealer or marketing structure…if we’re simply spitballing I would say combining the two under one roof would give a kind of wacky logic:
      * 500 for entry level, Abarth for silly fun – just return to the basics
      * lose the 500 SUV lines unless they’re selling well and I haven’t heard;
      * re-branded Alfa / Abarth 124 spider convertible for aspirational middle class fun and user-enthusiast building;
      * base Stelvio as the lease-able loyalty or aspirational SUV
      * Giulia as the enthusiast’s power choice or luxo-mobile.

      I wish Alfa, Tesla and Volvo all the success.

      And may lotus finally get its sh*t together as well. :)

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Since GM is giving up all performance cars that don’t start with a C, my hope for future performance only exists at Dodge. I hope to see Dodge release their next Generation V8s with aluminum blocks and add a midsize (SS Sedan sized) car based off of the Gulia platform with the amazing 392 they have. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll have something with over 400 cubes with the new engines

  • avatar
    scott25

    I’d just like to wish every manuafacturer the ability to stop throwing billions of dollars into the autonomous mobility dumpster fire, and spend that money in places where it’ll actually affect consumers TODAY. Making EVs truly viable should be priority #1.

    I keep imagining that 30 years from now we’ll be laughing about the 2010’s vision of an autonomous future like the 50’s with their flying cars.


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