By on December 30, 2019

This time of year is rife with year-end lists and compilations ranging from music-inspired topics to the insidious Instagram Top Nine. It’s a great tradition, one I look forward to every year.

You know precisely what our topic is: cars. We’ll throw it out to you, dear reader — what was 2019’s biggest surprise in the automotive industry? As you’d expect, we have a few ideas to start off the proverbial tip jar.

The shack-up between FCA and PSA definitely registered on our automotive Richter scale, with the two companies finally realizing the late Sergio Marchionne’s desire to pair with another automaker for cost reasons. Much remains to be hashed out, including whether we’ll ever see a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Peugeot Citroen Opel Vauxhall dealer in downtown America (probably not).

Peugeot 405

Tesla’s Cybertruck certainly got tongues wagging in 2019, for a variety of reasons. Its bizarro-world styling decisions notwithstanding, questions remain about on-sale dates and assembly facilities. It is worth noting this is the third vehicle introduced by Musk & Co which has yet to see the light of production, with the Model Y and Roadster 2.0 also twisting in the wind. Four, actually, if you count the Semi.

Also ranking is the new mid-engined Corvette, unveiled this past summer in sunny California. After what seemed like eons of speculation, the GM engineering team finally moved the Vette’s engine behind the driver. There has been no shortage of digital ink spilled about the decision, not to mention carping about interior and exterior styling choices.

There were plenty more automotive stories in 2019 from which to choose. Which one caught your attention?

[Images: Tesla, PSA Group, General Motors]

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14 Comments on “QOTD: This Year’s Biggest Surprise?...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    All good choices, but I have to give the ‘biggest surprise’ award to the Cybertruck, for its appearance alone.

    The FCA-PSA merger was a surprise for its speed.

    The C8 Corvette surprise – at least to me – was that high (and busy) center console. Not sure I like that part of it, but the rest is nice.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    Re: CDJRPCOV dealerships – i would love for the irony of GM having to now contend with Opels and Vauxhauls in America.

    Of the 3 scenarios suggested, I’d say the FCA/PSA merger gets my vote for most surprising. Tesla is Tesla. Sure, the truck is bizarre, but that’s completely from Musk’s playbook. The C8 has been in the making forever.

    FCA seemed like it would forever be hinting at or asking for potential mergers. Then right after the failed Renault tie-up they jumped back in the mix with France all over again.

  • avatar
    JMII

    That Mitsubishi is still in business.

    The only thing surprising about the C8 is its price and the base models acceleration numbers.

    I don’t really count the CyberTruck because its not out yet, I expect some design changes before it hits the streets. Musk said that it would have a Blade Runner “look” but nobody knew we get this DMC wedge 4×4 thing.

    No mentioned of the new Mach-E Mustang? My head is still spinning.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    That UAW rank and file have not torched the union headquarters and the homes of their deeply corrupted leaders.

    The fact is that the members were betrayed by their leaders. Betrayal is the most intense of all human emotions, and that the members have, so far, not resorted to overt violence is, indeed, a surprise.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      On the other hand, their dues bought them a decent contract this year. Most people only care about their own wallet.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I suppose that’s one upside to corruption. It makes the membership hate you so much that unless you deliver a perfect contract you have no hope of remaining in office. And the UAW leadership did deliver on that front, even as they stole a bunch of dues at the same time.

        I’d still want to vote them out if I were a member.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    That Ram, famous for bargain-basement trucks with Hemis and vinyl floors, turned out to be the first pickup maker that actually built an interior with good-quality materials. I would have expected Ford to do it first, but Hackett is too busy cost-cutting any quality out of Ford products.

  • avatar
    millerluke

    For me, the biggest surprise was that GM had one of the longest strikes ever, and no one cared.

  • avatar

    ‘Opels and Vauxhauls in America.”

    BS. If Buick could not sell them why expect PSA to be able to? And why Vauxhaul? It is just Opel pronounced with British accent. To make Brits feel happy with illusion that their home grown brand still exist.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m with you on this one. People say they want vehicles like the Opel in the US, but when GM brought them, no one bought them.

      If brought in under a non-US name, they might make a splash for a few year, but will fade away.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    1. Cybertruck. Literally designed as stainless-steel origami.
    2. Mustang Mach E. Literally designed to steal Tesla Model Y sales now that Tesla has lost its tax credits (making the ‘Stang effectively $7500 cheaper).
    3. Run, Carlos, run.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Kia Telluride is a very pleasant surprise. Also that it impressed Motor Trend and Consumer Reports at the same time. It rarely happens, if ever.

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