One year ago I asked 50 questions for 2013 and now that the year has (almost) come to an end, it’s time to revisit these questions to see what 2013 turned out to be.
1. Will Chery crack Europe with the Qoros GQ3? Not yet. In fact the launch of the brand has taken a bit of time this year: Qoros’ first model ended up being called the Qoros 3 and only launched in China on November 21, with the first European dealership opening in Bratislava, Slovakia in December. A second model will be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2014. Read a fascinating article about the Qoros brand from the Advertising Age here.
2. Will the Hyundai HB20 or Chevrolet Onix threaten the VW Gol’s supremacy in Brazil? Neither have managed to threaten the Gol’s supremacy, however they are both great successes, peaking at #4 with 12,537 sales and 5.6% and #5 and 4.2% respectively towards the start of the year.
3. Which Passenger Car will top the Chinese year-end ranking? This was totally unpredictable, as the Wuling Hongguang moved classifications from LCV to Passenger Car during the year and is currently leading the Chinese sales charts after 11 months in 2013.
4. Will General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai or any other major manufacturer announce the creation of a low-cost brand outside China? Will Nissan unveil a low-cost Datsun range as planned? The answers to the first question are no, and to the second question yes, with Nissan reviving the Datsun brand as planned in 2013 by unveiling two models: the Go supermini and the Go+ mini MPV, both due to hit dealerships in 2014.
5. Will the new BYD F3 and Chery QQ make 2013 the year of the renaissance for local models in China? I believe we can potentially call 2013 the year of the renaissance for local passenger cars in China indeed, however not due to the two models mentioned above, but to the Wuling Hongguang, Haval H6 and Emgrand EC7.
6. Will Kaili, Volkswagen’s low-cost Chinese brand, finally be launched? If so will it be more successful than GM’s Baojun? Nissan’s Venucia? Honda’s Linian? Ciimo? No, Kaili did not launch its first model in the Chinese market in 2013.
7. Will the Mokka and Adam help Opel towards recovery? Sadly not.
8. Will a BMW or Mercedes break into the UK year-end Top 5 for the first time? No, however both the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series delivered outstanding results in the UK this year: the 1 Series smashed its monthly volume record to 10,084 units in September while the 3 Series hit 8,309 sales, its best volume in over 5 years during the same month.
9. Will the Renault Duster break into the monthly Top 5 in Russia? India? While it did not reach these levels in India, the Duster broke into the Russian Top 5 as early as December 2012 and even climbed onto the podium in November 2013 at #3!
10. Will the Dacia Dokker dominate the French LCV market, the biggest in Europe? No, and far from it, ranking only 32nd after 11 months.
11. Will the Nissan Altima or Honda Civic threaten the Toyota Camry for the Passenger Car crown in the US? Nope, if anything the Honda Accord was the closest to “threaten” the Toyota Camry.
12. Will the new generation Chevy Silverado threaten the Ford F-Series in the US? Nope.
13. Will the Ford Focus pass the Toyota Corolla to become the world’s best selling car at year-end? There is still a question mark around this question, and we will have to wait until February/March for the final worldwide figures to know for sure.
14. Will Great Wall succeed in the UK? Will it launch in another major European market? Great Wall has been a little discreet so far in the UK market and has not launched yet in any other major European market.
15. Which of the Peugeot 208 or Renault Clio IV will finish the year #1 in France? Will they top another European country or will their success be restricted to their home country? Check out my forecast for the 2013 France models ranking here. The Renault Clio IV will be the best-seller in France in 2013 and is also #1 in Portugal.
16. Will the VW Golf be threatened by anyone in Europe? Clio? 208? Fiesta? How many countries will it dominate? The VW Golf had a very smooth year atop the European sales charts, but it is too early to know exactly how many countries it ranked #1 over the Full Year 2013. One thing is certain: a lot!
17. Will Italy, Greece, Portugal, Croatia and Spain fall further into recession? For Italy and Croatia unfortunately yes, however Greece, Portugal and Spain all seem to have turned the corner.
18. Will Europe stagnate or decline? As of end of November, decline.
19. Will Peugeot/Citroen survive? Will Opel survive? Will Honda merge with another carmaker? Yes, yes and no. 2014 might be a different story though…
20. Will the Toyota Corolla top the Australian year-end ranking for the first time? Check out my forecast for the 2013 Australian models ranking here. If 11 months 2013 figures are any indication, yes.
21. Will Indonesia and Thailand continue their explosive growth? Yes to Indonesia, no to Thailand.
22. Which markets will be the 10 engines of growth? Too early to call, I’ll be able to answer this once all Full Year 2013 figures are in.
23. Will the VW Up! go further up and reach the German/European Top 10? No to both, but just: it ranked #11 in Germany both in January and June 2013.
24. Will the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur succeed or flop? Both have been among the main 2013 success stories in Europe.
25. Will Mercedes, BMW and Audi continue their implacable growth in Europe? As of end November, yes to Mercedes (+5%) and BMW (0%), no to Audi (-3%).
See the answers to 25 more questions for 2013 below. What are your questions for 2014? Post some more by commenting on this article!
26. Which of Mercedes, BMW or Audi will be the #1 premium brand in the world? Too early to call on this one.
27. Will PSA end up selling its Peugeot 301 and Citroen C-Elysée in Western Europe to avoid grey market imports like Renault had to do with the Dacia Logan? The 301 and C-Elysée are only on sale in Spain and Portugal, no other Western European country.
28. Will the new Mercedes A-Class beat the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 in Europe? Based on 10 months 2013 figures, no: the Audi A3 ranked #11 vs. #22 for the BMW 1 Series and #24 for the A-Class, still up by a fantastic 66% on 2012.
29. Will Hyundai reach 10% of the Brazilian market as planned? No, after 11 months Hyundai holds 5.9% of the Brazilian market thanks to 190,817 sales.
30. Will Russia become the #1 car market in Europe, passing Germany? No, as Russia is down 6% year-on-year so far in 2013.
31. Will the Nissan Qashqai finish the year in pole position in Spain? No, after 11 months that spot was still held by the Seat Ibiza.
32. Will Renault launch the Lodgy in Indonesia? The Dokker? A no-frills Modus? – just my suggestions None of this above unfortunately!
33. Will the 500L, 500X and 500XL get Fiat back on its feet in Europe? Not exactly back on its feet, but the 500L has been a great success so far.
34. Will the new generation Jetta and Santana be more successful than their predecessors in China? So far, no in terms of ranking, but this is only the start of both models’ careers.
35. Will Renault sell more cars in Brazil than in France? No, after 11 months Renault sold 409,631 cars in France vs. 210,625 in Brazil.
36. Will the 2nd generation Dacia/Renault Sandero-Logan be more successful than the first? Too early to say, but both models have had great starts in all countries they launched.
37. Will the Skoda Rapid replace the Octavia in pole position in Czech Republic? Slovakia? Poland? Ukraine? Hungary? None of the above, however the Rapid held the top spot in Slovakia in March.
38. Will the all-new Skoda Octavia beat the all-new VW Golf in Switzerland? Not in 2013, 2014 could be a different story…
39. Will Great Wall place one of its locally-produced models #1 in Bulgaria? Nope.
40. Will Chinese manufacturers continue their worldwide expansion and open more plants in new countries? Yes, and this is documented in my series How the Chinese are setting themselves up for success.
41. Will Hyundai pass Toyota in Africa? Will it continue to grow as fast in Europe? Worldwide? Official figures for Africa aren’t available yet, and Hyundai has paused its growth in Europe in 2013.
42. Will Toyota stay #1 in the world? Too early to tell but the answer should be yes.
43. Will the Volvo V40 rank on the Swedish podium at year-end? No, it ranks #5 after 11 months.
44. Will the new Holden Commodore stabilise the nameplate’s sales in Australia? Not really: Holden sales are down 3% year-on-year after 11 months, plus Holden announced it will stop manufacturing cars locally by 2017 which should affect its market share negatively in 2014.
45. Will Mazda sell more cars in Australia than in Japan? No.
46. Will Honda sell the N-One in Europe? No.
47. Will the Maserati Kubang finally go on sale? Please? The Kubang is now called Levante and is scheduled for launch during Q2 2015. So long to wait!
48. Will Kia place one model in the worldwide Top 10? Too early to tell, we’ll have to wait until February for final figures.
49. Will the Hyundai Santa Fe break into the monthly US Top 20? Top 10? No, but it broke back into the Top 40 in November at #38.
50. Which from the US or China will gain more ground? Based on 11 months figures, China leads the way both for total sales and growth rate: 13% and 19.9 million sales vs. 8% 14.24 million units for the US.