2012 was a great year for many automakers. Some brands recorded their best sales numbers in years. However, 2012 is indeed behind us, and looking forward on a new year, the bar is set high for a host of automakers. Some are prepared to take on the new year full force. Others are not in the position to be in decent shape come the conclusion of 2013. So, looking forward, who will sink and who will swim in 2013?
For all you Chevrolet fan boys out there, you might want to skip to the next one. My desire for Chevrolet to succeed almost outweighs their want to succeed. It seems lately, Chevy CEO’s are more concerned with their pocketbooks than their dying fanbase. Though GM did manage to squeeze out enough cash to pay off their government loans, that notion is irrelevant if you don’t make compelling cars.
The reality is, Chevrolet does not have what it takes to succeed in 2013. From the rebranding of the Aveo-now-Sonic last year, to the questionable reliability of the Volt, it’s been disappointing. If we’re to believe some leaked images, the Corvette will indeed disappoint with Camaro-esque styling and sub-par performance numbers. Le sigh.
Remember Fisker? Of course you do. Before Tesla, this green movement company took advantage of all the new hybrid technology currently available and turned it all into a complete crash and burn experiment. The Karma, having been recalled twice in 2012 set them back a number of months/years, and the Atlantic- their gorgeous concept we saw back in New York- has yet to even step anywhere near production thanks to lack of cash flow and closure of even more plants.
Much to Fisker’s chagrin, we think that this series of unfortunate events will lead to yet another profitless year for the dream-filled company. Let’s just hope they have enough funds to keep their doors open.
This one is a bit tricky; Ford- who has been the true American success story of the last decade- is moving forward with a host of new vehicles, technology and market expansion. The Mustang, although losing a bit of grunt, will gain an EcoBoost 4-cylinder in 2015 and travel overseas for the first time. Additionally, the C-Max, the most efficient car the company has ever made, has already recorded decent sales numbers this year.
Lincoln Lincoln Motor Company on the other hand is- excuse my French- sort of boned. With a bit of self-indulgence in a new ad highlighting a less-than-great MKZ (not to mention a page from Chrysler’s marketing department), it’s all just a bit uninspiring for everyone.
Looking back on last year, Mazda USA was in a bit of a tricky situation. A few billion dollars in debt and coming off a less-than-deserving partnership with Ford, Mazda looks to be on the uprise for 2013. The CX-5 is recording massive sales numbers and praise all around and a new partnership with Alfa Romeo leading to a sexy updated MX-5 (and Alfa Spyder), the Mazda group is sitting pretty in the market. Although, we’re still waiting for that RX-8 replacement. Please?
Mitsubishi is like a bad relationship. Remember, back in high school when we were cool with models like the Eclipse and the Evo? Lately, though, you’ve just changed, Mitsubishi. The Eclipse and Evo, both dead, and new golf karts like the i-MiEV are sprouting up, it’s just terrible. Mitsubishi’s just not the same as they used to be, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they left the U.S. sometime soon.
Naturally, coming off the godsend that is the FR-S, Scion would look to revamp 90% of their lineup to mimic the success. Thankfully, cars like the xD and tC are all going to be ramped up more than usual if not killed off and replaced come next year. Some plastic surgery much needed.
Truthishly, I’m not entirely sure why Daimler has kept Smart in the U.S. for this long. Sure, the first year or two was super cute with the ForTwo. But it’s getting old, considered by many as one of the worst cars ever made, it’s hard for us to see where the brand can even go from here. The ForFour? Maybe, but don’t put money on it.
Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments below.