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The answers to my 50 questions for 2013

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.

Datsun Go+ World 2013Datsun Go+

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.

Wuling Hongguang China September 2013The Wuling Rongguang took the lead of Passenger Cars sales in China in 2013.

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.

Renault Duster Russia November 2013. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Renault Duster was #3 in Russia in November.

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.

Chevrolet Silverado USA August 2013. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comChevrolet Silverado

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.

Renault Clio IV Peugeot 208 France June 2013The Renault Clio IV beats the Peugeot 208 in France.

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…

Toyota Corolla

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.

Peugeot 2008 World June 2012. Picture courtesy of LargusPeugeot 2008

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!

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