20 Jan 2017

Accelerated Change: Predictions

For at least 15 years we have begun our first show of the new year with our staff predictions. It is our time to show off how well we understand the American vehicle industry and explain what will happen in the automotive market.

What makes this show unique is that everyone must first answer for LAST YEAR’S predictions and suffer the humiliation of how wrong they can be.

The trick to winning this game is to offer three very bold predictions that can be factually proven to have come true before December 31st. A statement like “Gray will be the most popular car color” is not bold enough, even when correct. That will earn about one-half point if proven true. “Orange will become the best selling color in 2017” would earn 2 points if true (and negative 2 if false). The statement is very bold, insightful and represents a completely new market direction that nobody else saw coming…or planned for. Risky call.

No one in the history of Drivers Talk has recorded three bold predictions that came perfectly true during one year. Rick has come the closest, with a total score of 5.5 out of 6 for last year (2016). No one else has ever come this close. Good, but not exactly perfect. You can hear how he won the game on our Show #866, “Drivers Talk Prediction Show,” aired Jan 6.

Here is one more round of Predictions for the year 2017:

Rick Titus, Host/Originator of Drivers Talk
1. There will be more “Raptor” style off-road trucks, including midsized.
2. Tesla will be divested; they don’t really want to be in the car business.
3. 2 or 3 auto makers will sell frameless, unibody pickup trucks in the US.

Jay Dalton, Co-Host/Producer
1. Dec 31, 2017 Oil will not exceed $60/barrel (NYMEX WTI, Jan futures).
2. Amazon Echo and Google Home will be offered for the automobile.
3. Next HP war will be fought with Compact SUV’s; more over 500 HP.

Spencer Krick, Engineer and Editor of Drivers Talk
1.Toyota’s new performance YARIS will be disappointing; poor sales.
(Cover art from Gazoo Racing)
2. Pass
3. Pass

Micah Muzio
1. Toyota will finally adopt Apple Car Play into their infotainment system.
2. Big incentives will continue; maybe “buy one and get one free.”
3. We are at Peak Startup now. Look for startup failures in 2017.

BJ Killeen, Road Test Editor
1. Annual car sales for 2017 will be above 18 million vehicles.
2. Some car company will introduce the 12-speed automatic transmission.
3. An autonomous, driverless car will be involved in a fatal accident.

Cam Benty, Road Test ContributorPicture11
1. Alfa will decline and discontinue business in America before year end. (Photo: 505-hp Alfa Stelvio)
2. The Pony car HP wars will continue to grow: Mustang GT500 @ 740.
3. The Chevy BOLT – EV will be a success in the American market.

Our Predictions this year were recorded on Monday Dec 19, 2016 to allow us a week off over the holidays. Since that recording date, there has been a rumor about the possible sale of Alfa and the announcement of Amazon Echo coming to the dashboard of Ford products. Also, the BOLT-EV was named North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show. In itself, a stunning achievement, considering this is the first all-electric vehicle (without an internal combustion engine) ever to be voted Best Car. Previously the Volt, Prius, and the Fusion Hybrid have won this award.

Throughout the year we keep track of these predictions. As they come true we tick them off. Every Staff member must face the jury on the day of reckoning…the first week of January, 2018. See you then!

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