5 Auto Industry Predictions for 2010

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This time last year, we made 5 auto industry predictions for 2009…and we did OK. While we were right about Saab and Saturn closing, Ford’s sale of Volvo, and Ford’s stock price, we were completely and totally wrong about the sales volume. Our gas price prediction was wrong too, but we weren’t off by much. All in all, a decent set of predictions for 2009. Here’s what we’re predicting for 2010:

Nissan will kill the Titan in 2010.

Nissan will kill the Titan in 2010.

1. Nissan kills the Titan. It’s a bold prediction that we’re not 100% comfortable with, but here goes: The Titan doesn’t make money, so Nissan isn’t going to keep it. Nissan is on track to sell about 18,000 Titans in 2009. While that number is impacted by a bad sales year, 2010 isn’t going to be much better. After all, even if industry sales improve 20% next year, the Titan is still going to be the oldest design in the marketplace. There’s no reason to expect Titan sales in 2010 to improve over 2009.

If the Titan continues to be a slow seller at 15,000 – 20,000 units sold in 2010, Nissan will be losing money on this truck. Most experts believe that 20,000 units is the threshold for profitable production. So, unless Nissan can find a partner to share the production costs of the next Titan, small profits, aggressive new fuel economy and emissions rules, and a fiercely competitive truck market will conspire to kill Nissan’s full-size pickup. R.I.P.

2. Ford’s Fiesta is a run-away success. Ford is going to turn heads this year with the Fiesta. All the early accounts show that the new Fiesta will take sales away from Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai. While Ford has always been a strong truck and SUV company, their success with the Fiesta (alongside strong sales of the Focus and Fusion) will show Ford can be a strong car company too. Ford is back on track, folks, and 2010 will be a big year for them.

3. The US auto market will see a 20% increase in sales over 2009. This is another bold prediction, but here’s why we’re confident this prediction will come true:

  • Estimates of total 2009 U.S. auto sales show that 2009 was the worst sales year since 1970…sales this low can only go one direction.
  • These tremendously low sales were largely a result of tight credit. All major auto manufacturers struggled to obtain credit in 2009. However, as banks across the globe begin to relax and lend again, auto sales will increase.

4. Low payment leases are coming back. Leasing is a pendulum – a low volume of new vehicle sales in 2008 and 2009 means that used 2009 and 2010 model year vehicles will have strong resale values. In turn, strong resale values support higher residual values…and higher residual values support low lease payments. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of $200-$300 no money down lease deals next summer – even from the domestics.

5. Toyota’s Prius Compact will steal some of the Volt’s thunder. While it’s somewhat speculative, we’re 90% confident Toyota will show off a Prius compact at the Detroit Auto Show next week. GM’s new Volt might be a true plug-in hybrid, but an even lighter version of the Prius Sedan will likely offer incredible fuel economy figures AND decent performance at a much lower cost.

If the GM Volt is a $40,000 coupe with a 40 mile plug-in range, and Toyota’s Prius Compact is a $20k car that gets 60 mpg, most auto writers are going to tell the American public to buy the Prius Compact and skip the uber-expensive Volt.

Comments? Feel free to critique our predictions and offer your own predictions below. Happy new year!

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  1. J. D. says:

    I also predict the invention and implimentation of a Fart alarm with Halo Overhead light to be standard equipment on every car sold in the US after June of 2010. Some one farts and BING, the overhead light comes on spotlighting them. You will never have to wonder “Who did it”. I am almost totally kinda maybe could but ain’t sure this is going to happen for sure probably not maybe could never this year.

  2. Mickey says:

    Decent predictions Jason. I agree with all except #3. I’m not sure we will rebound that much but slowly working our way there.

  3. Jeremy – Good call. I’ll write a post on how to disable it once it comes out.
    Mickey – Thanks. I hope that sales come back strong, but perhaps 20% is a bit optimistic. Hopefully, an increase in sales will be indicative of a recovering economy (that’s good for everyone).

  4. Anonymous says:

    I went to the San Diego Auto Show this week and noticed that Hummer and Nissan didn’t even show up. Toyota had a strong showing including the newly redesigned 4RUNNER, with a lot of new features and a bigger look. The Chevy’s new Camaro seemed to be a hit, thanks to an optional Transformer yellow with Gobot emblems. Other than that the show was less than half the size it was last year. Not a good start for 2010 and the auto industry.

  5. mk says:

    Mickey is right – # 3 will not happen, let alone maybe a 10% increase in sales. Jobs are still not out there and probably not for many more years, let alone in 2010.

  6. J. D. says:

    I’ll tell you my opinion in a year. American Automakers, and to a lesser extent domesticated forgein auto makers, are at a cross roads. They will evolve and produce a bettter product or wither and die. Look at the big 3, uh….2…no….1 and a half and you will see this. GM is playing smart, somewhat (PONTIAC WAS THE SOUL OF GM, idiots) Ford is playing VERY smart. and chrysler is not a domestic label anymore. Chrysler is headed for another line up of everyone elses cars, look it up. Ford is poised to crush GM and Toyota if they remain slugish. And in he far back corner is the mopst lethal threat of all, Hyundai/Kia. They are getting things right and are on the fast track to being an unstoppable force.

    Just my $.02

  7. TerryM says:

    Hey J.D. – will your fart detector come with an emission recovery system so all cars can be classified as “hybrids”?

  8. Anonymous – Interesting. Smaller shows usually receive a very small presence in a down cycle, but the fact that Nissan wasn’t at the show is somewhat telling. It’s been a tough year for the car biz.
    Jeremy – Agreed – Hyundai/Kia is going to eat both Toyota’s breakfast and Honda’s lunch. They’ve got a great mix of affordable quality.

  9. TXTee says:

    I thought it was already a done deal the Titan was dead. I’d like to see Nissan come out with something better and more uniquely designed even if they scrap it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Tundra alone has already be defeated by its own hand alone. It doesn’t matter how much power, towing, comfort, or anything else if it is going to be a inconvince to continually have it in the shop. Especially within the first month or two for the check engine light issue. The quality issues have taken its toll. There was a time that you did not see a used Tundra on a car lot for more than a week. There are 4 used 07 through 09′s sitting on a lot here for more than 3 months. One is a rare 5.7 reg cab, every couple weeks the price keeps dropping. They can’t sell them but then you can’t find a Ford or Nissan used anywhere. Ford is going to step right over Toyota if they do not get there head out of the sand. The Tundra along with some other Toyota models need to take a step backwards. You can not continue to add and improve a vehicle until the current issues or corrected, just ask GM. It will get worse before it gets better. KIA and Hyundai if you want a cheap, throw away vehicle , they are the ones to get.
    Some may agree with what I have said others will go off the wall on it. But as a consumer I buy a vehicle to drive and use it, not to be able to have a status symbol, fit in, or keep up with the Jones.

  11. mk says:

    Sorry, Ford trucks and cars used are a dime a dozen around here, tons more than Toyota vehicles. My Tundra is not a status symbol nor do I fit in and whatever the heck the Jones’s are driving next door, my Tundra is way better, that I know. Of course, I live in a small town and pretty sure my Tundra is the only one around owned in town. I have only seen a few double cabs and a few crew cabs ever around the area, so it sure is not a ‘fit in’ vehicle. Most do not know what they are missing.

  12. J. D. says:

    Tundras don’t last for sale long here.

  13. J. D. says:

    BTW, Hyundai and Kia are producing vehicles that are consistantly better built than the domestics and are rivaling the Toyota/Honda Jugernaut of reliability. It used to be, in the 70′s that if you wanted a well built vehicle you bought a Chevy, Ford, or Chrysler and you got a Honda or Toyota as a drive and toss. But the tides changed in the 80′s as the Toyota HiLux trucks, Corollas, Celicas, and Honda Civics kept chugging along with few problems. By the 90′s The Honda’s and Toyotas were demanding a higher premium over their Domestic counterparts due to undeniable superiour build quality and dependability. Roles had reversed between the Domestics and the Japanese lines. In came Hyundai and Kia in the 80′s to fill the drive and toss hole left by Toyota and Honda. The wrench in the works was that now the domestics slotted in between the Hyundai kia and the toyota/Honda in the whole of the American Auto Market. Now we are looking at a decimated American Manufactures Landscape. Chrysler is a front for Fiat and will be selling almost enirely fiat built cars in the near future with the Ram truck being the lone shining American point. GM is being destroyed internally by government intervention (Wait for it…it is going to happen unless the government sells what it owns off to private investors). Ford is left as the lone viable american automotive manufacturer. The Domestic labels did not take the threat of Toyota and Honda seriously and this is where we stand. Instead of matching quality they invested in Buy American smear campaigns. I personally would always choose to rise to new levels of excellence rather than tearing my opponent down. This is the root of the fall of the big three. They choose the low road to fast profits. Now Hyundai is a real force in the quality race, no one who hopes to remain a formitable force can take them lightly. The dependability is way up as is quality. The prices are coming up but they are still under cutting everyone else on price for a equal vehicle. This will give them a consistant market share as people shop for value over name. Funny thing is that the value over brain dead crowd are the people who can put Ford and GM (If things work out) back on top. I am one of those people. I would rather pay $27K for a vehicle that will last me 15 years than $17000 for one that will last 4. Hyundai is pushing hard to match toyota and Honda. If the Domestics do not match the rest of the market they will ultimately lazy themselves out of the market entirely.

  14. Che25 says:

    MK and J.D. My sincere apologies. Now I understand. MK so you own the only Tundra in a small town and “most do not know what they are missing”. Maybe they do know what they are missing, if Toyota is quality then answer these questions, why is there still a oil issue, that’s a simple question!
    J.D. Good job, your IQ is showing! “I would rather pay $27K for a vehicle that will last me 15 years than $17000 for one that will last 4.” Do you remember the FRAME issue on let’s say a 2003 Tundra, the one with 65K on it. The one they said it was unsafe to drive. Could someone help J.D. out? I bet car salesmen love you, gullible and believe anything.
    Oh but wait J.D. I love this part “Instead of matching quality they invested in Buy American smear campaigns.” You are totally right, Toyota sure did! Remember the see-saw, flaming tower, stupid ring gear size, slamming hammer, cliff stopping distance commercials. They suckered you in with them and NOW have all kinds of issues with quality! Frame, floor mats, OIL, tailgate (for a futher list see bottom right hand side of page under link titled “All known 2007 Toyota Tundra Problems”). Thanks again J.D.

  15. mk says:

    I agree JD, the Hyundais are nearing or equal to the quality of toyota now. Back in the 80′s, the Hyundai’s were sub-par at best replacing what was left of that ugly Yugo car. One of my teachers had a Yugo with no radio, no A/C, no power anything, absolutely stripped and he bragged it up so much costing well under 8K. He was the only one who thought it a bargain. My classmate also had a stripped down Hyundai in the 80′s with no power steering. Boy, did that wake up my arm muscles when she let me drive it at low speeds it was a bear to turn the wheel. The past year, I drove a new Hyundai Elantra equivalent to a Toyota Corolla and was very impressed. However, I bought the Corolla simply because Hyundai’s do not get great gas mileage and the cost was very similar in price but the resale of the Corolla made the difference. I expect resale of Hyundai’s to continually improve over the next few years as well as their quality being equal and above Toyota’s seeing as how I feel Toyota’s quality has decreased the past few years.

  16. mk says:

    Che25, what oil issue are you referring to? No idea the 2007 on up tundra’s have oil issues of anykind. They did and possibly still do have frame issues, rusting, and tailgate failures, but not heard of any oil issues. Please elaborate.

  17. Mickey says:

    Mk, Che’s telling you of the P0012 or P0022 codes that come up on the check engine light. These sensors detect oil contamination so the light comes on. Then they change the oil and then move on. You see Mk che is a sore loser and has nothing to say but what faults he reads on the website another words aka troll. That’s why he deliberately attacks J.D. Che thinks he’s the intelligent one here. If so CHE why are you here? Che at least the commercials don’t attack another manufacturer like your Howdy Doody thinks he’s a football player. When you tell someone about gas mileage you won’t get that greatest towing with that Che. They don’t mix. Also J.D> you forget the fact GM is already in bed with China by selling them the great American Hummer. Now GM will be the front for the Chinese made vehicles coming into America. So for all you clowns out there want made in the USA you have Fiat on DOdge and within 2 years you will have Chinese on GM. SO go American on that Jack! You want to talk your crap Che then now you have to eat crow. You want stew or or soup with that crow?

  18. Mickey says:

    Forgot Mk those codes are on the 2010 models.

  19. Anonymous says:

    You left out Ford! The whole oil thing, a vehicle’s quality is spouse to get better with time not worse, meaning Tundra been out for 3 years and new issues keep arising.

  20. mk says:

    Thank Mickey, I have a 2010 tundra double cab sr5 and I never received those codes for faulty sensor of oil contamination. I don’t think those codes affected 1,000′s of tundras, so no big deal. I do think Howie Doodie Long talks smack about how chevy is the best in gas mileage compared to Toyota/Honda, etc., and then the very next commercial even though he is not on this commercial about how whopping the 6.2L has 403 hp and is the king of the hill when compared to the rest. What that commercial doesn’t tell you is the 6.2L is a very rare option that probably less than 10% of 1/2 ton silverado’s have on the road since it is about a 5K option making the silverado much more expensive than my stock 5.7L tundra. Now, if the 6.2L was only a 1K option over the 5.3L like the 5.7L is over the 4.6L on the tundra, everyone would be buying the chevy in a 6.2L V8 since the 5.3L is barely adequate at best. I’d take dibbs on the 4.6L in a much smaller cubic displacement whopping or at least equallying the power and performance of the bigger chevy 5.3L because chevy never learns to put a 4.10 rear axle in the 5.3L vs. the piece of crap 3.42 rear axle ratio. Another thing, if GM makes bed with China by building GM cars in China to save a buck, I will never go back to Silverado’s again. Government Motors (GM) better wake up and do what is right since this American economy run by the American govt. and paid for by American citizens bailed them out once, NEVER TWICE!

  21. J. D. says:

    Do you know why Yugos came with rear window defrosters? To keep your hands warm during the winter.

  22. Mickey says:

    Anonymous How long has Ford been making trucks? If you want to enter the comments going on it’s about outside intervention. Ford wasn’t mention because they are trying to sell Volvo which I don’t think was sold yet.

  23. J. D. says:

    Funny thing is that the F-150 is still finding new and creative ways to burst into flames. The GM trucks have the added bonus of dieing alone and not trying to take you out with it. Just Kidding. Ford fixed that. For 2011 all f-150 will come with standard fire extingishers mounted in the center console. In other news GM will be offering the new eco-power engines in their trucks. It will only be offered in crew cab silverados with hot pink paint, Purple nuevoleather interiour, the 2.15 rearend, and nonSteering wheel equiped. GM plans to produce and sell 3 as the option package load out is just plain bizzare. The new engine promises to produce 500 HP and get 35 MPG in the silverado. NExt Dodge will be offering Latte dispensors in all 2011 Rams. OPtional is the Crousant warmer in place of the glove box. Chrysler/Fiat feels this better represents the options New Ram owners are looking for. NIssan will be offering the titan in Inflateable versions after 2012. This will reduce production cost while allowing the dealer base to maintain the image of selling a full size truck. Finally, Toyota will be equiping the Tundra with standard Plastic broom and dust pan so the owners can sweep up the pile of rust when, at the 4 year mark, the truck instantaniously rusts completely out.

    Have I not insulted anyone?

    OH, in 2011 Honda will be changing the name of the Ridgeline to Brokeback Mountain in a move to better capture the true nature of their truck.

  24. your name here says:

    Funny you mention Honda, remember that GM commercial with Howdy. talking about how Honda makes something they can not compete with. A lawnmower. Well they have been playing nice, you do know Toyota makes sewing machines. Rumor was there was going to be a “Brokeback” edition Tundra so the owners can could identify each other. So now there is two SPECIAL EDITION Toyota’s in the works, the “Kamikaze Edition” and “Brokeback Edition”. Sorry I thought you already knew about the “Brokeback Edition”.
    With all this being said it all becomes clear. The Whining about the frame rust, oil sludge. Didn’t Toyota say that the frame rust was partially the owners fault for not doing the maintenance. How about the oil sludge, from not changing the oil. I see a pattern, if it involves getting dirty owners won’t do it.
    So when is the next sewing circle meeting at MK’s place?
    As for the Ford comment. That’s the best you got. See the difference is they can have that issue and still sale more than Toyota. The owners really don’t seem to care or WHINE about it like say a 03 Tundra with 60 some thousand miles on it that frame is gone. Did it serve a purpose and meet the warranty that was stated when you bought it??? Well did it???? Then why are you whining about it???? Reinforcing the “Brokeback Edition” standard with female hygiene dispensers.

    I would like to send a sincere apology and a thank you at the same time. I’m sorry Toyota that you have customers like the ones we see here, but thank you for putting up with them, with all their whining and crying so we don’t have to. Apparently as you know now they are not the smartest and need a lot of direction, hints the floormats!

  25. [...] Re: Umm whats up With Insideline on Tundra?? uh-oh? If Toyota kills the Tundra then, it is a major defeat for Japanese truck manufacturers here in the U.S. market. Titan has the same prediction, too. I like the reliability of the product and is a big reason for me in buying the Tundra. If I wanted a truck to be modded extensively, I would get a truck from the other 3. 5 Auto Industry Predictions for 2010 | Tundra Headquarters [...]

  26. Mickey says:

    Can you be more original? If you’re going to slam a truck how about coming up with your own colorful name. I still don’t see the oil sludge you trolls keep remarking about. That will happen to any engine if the proper maintenance isn’t done, or done correctly. What I don’t get is most of you trolls like to come here and leave such colorful remarks, but are so afraid to leave a name. Should I call you a Ford guy or by your terms Flamer? Or should I call you a GM guy, or Duct Tape Truck? Talk about whiner all I got to do is look at your comments. Should I send you some cheese from Wisconsin? You can sit here all day putting down a Tundra, but when it comes time to trade in who has the better resale? I’ll be laughing at you all the way to the bank. So when you grow up some then you can come back and maybe we can have an intelligent conversation, so here’s your sign “Your name here”.

  27. mk says:

    Sorry all you Tundra owners, my house is not big enough to hold a ‘sewing circle’ meeting like he suggested. Maybe we can find out where this idiot lives and hold the meeting there?

  28. joshua says:

    LMAO, you just don’t get it. The “I have a 09 Rock Warrior” comment and now this and you still don’t get it. Mickey, Toyota’s oil sludge issue was owners were not following the maintenance interval and developed oil sludge. Well long story short Toyota fixed it for the whiners who couldn’t provide any receipts of maintenance that was competed. Then the frames, didn’t Toyota say part of the problem was lack of maintenance that caused the rust?? Well?? Didn’t they last as the warranty stated?? Ask the guy with the “03 with 60 some k on it”, what’s his problem? It didn’t happen over night and if he did wash his undercarriage as he said he must have done it with his eyes closed to have just noticed it one day. Oh look my frame is gone, is that how it worked. The magical rust fairy showed up one night and said watch this? So what do you think? And you want to poke fun at other brands. MK, why are you worried about the 6.2l, thinking of getting one if so spend the extra and get a Denali? Or are you Jealous?? J.D. I’m truly touched that you are worried about Ford’s crusie control and diesel flame issues, but the owners don’t seem to care. You see the recall dates back to the 90′s on the cruise control and you don’t here them whining about it. As for the latte dispensers in Ram, would you and that in a regular, large or super sized. Get it more than one size of truck! GM’s hot pink edition, well at least we won’t hear anyone whining about it, all the whiners own Toyota’s.

  29. J. D. says:

    Insert Name here,

    I am very honored you feel my humor is of such high quality you felt the need to steal it. I am confident one day you will graduate and get your GED and you too will be able to have an intelligent conversation.

    Thank You,

    I’ll send you the bill in the mail.

    :-)

  30. Mickey says:

    Joshua let’s get this straight once and for all. The reason that the cruise control recall is lasting so long it must be the idiots who have them and can’t either read or hear. Your owners seem to care so much they rather cause harm to their own homes and the people living there. So it’s been what over 10 years and Ford still can’t get it right? Is that what you’re saying about the whining about fixing a Toyota? The same there for the Ford people. We can play the game you want all night. Who’s the loser Joshua? The one who goes to another website and acts like a troll or a regular owner here? You seem to be the biggest whiner here Joshua and yet you don’t own a truck.

  31. J. D. says:

    Don’t let the retards get to you. If you do they will have you driving a Volvo and drinking low fat decaf skinny lattes. Trust me on this. The Volvos seats are horrid for long trips. The Latte is pretty good though.

  32. Mickey says:

    I don’t drink foo foo coffee. Straight black no additives or preservatives. Don’t like Volvo’s either. No Joshua is far from getting under my skin.

  33. Jason says:

    Yeesh…these predictions are looking pretty bad right now. Good thing nobody reads this! :-)

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