In honour of the month of May, The Good Car Guy is ready to make some predictions. Except, we’re not about to foster commitment on these predictions. So, with tomorrow being the first of May, here are seven things which MAY happen in the automotive world in 2010.
Ford may raise prices of the Ford Focus when the 2012 model arrives. Already, the 2011 Ford Fiesta has a model with the highest base price of any subcompact for sale in America, indicating a true rub-up-against scenario with the Focus. Chances are the Fiesta’s prices won’t drop, particularly if it’s as popular as it could be.
The Toyota Camry may end 2010 as America’s best-selling car… again. The perennial best-seller is well on its way. March was an especially good month. True, Toyota has placed more incentives on the hood of their vehicles than in the past, but the 2010 Toyota Camry isn’t just out-selling the opposition – the first three months of 2010 have been better for the Camry than the first three months of 2009.
Toyota’s Scion iQ may temporarily extinguish smart fortwo sales. It didn’t happen in Europe, and it’s not so likely in Canada where the smart car has maintained more of its desirability. Yet in the United States, where smart sales tumble and tumble and tumble, the Scion iQ may show up in the cafeteria this fall; steal the smart fortwo’s lunch; eat the smart fortwo’s lunch; sit beside the smart fortwo’s friends; and beat up the smart fortwo before third period French.
Fiat may price the 500 appropriately. In the UK, even the nicer versions of the non-Abarth Fiat 500 are less expensive than a basic Mini Cooper. Not that the Mini Cooper is the last word in “cheap”, but all this talk about the Fiat 500 being a direct competitor for the Mini may be misguided. Unless, of course, Fiat & Chrysler are misguided about how upmarket the Marketplace will really swing for a premium small car. Because friends, the Fiat 500 is small. The Mini Cooper has a base price in the USA of $18,800. Perhaps we could see a Fiat 500 around $16,995, or is $17,500 more likely? Chrysler dealers should be selling the Fiat 500 in December.
Pictures of the Ferrari 458 Spider may cause lightheadedness, dizziness, trembling, and in some cases, fainting. Ferrari’s 458 Italia is already one of the best-looking Ferraris of the last couple decades. Apart from the Ferrari 550 Barchetta (which was, admittedly, a pretty decent machine), Ferrari convertibles are jaw-droppers. The Ferrari 458 Italia seems to have a body even more suited to toplessness.
GoodCarBadCar.net’s long-term smart fortwo may hit 48 miles per gallon this summer. Up to this point, the GCBC smart has not been able to enjoy warm temperatures while run-in. Last summer, fuel economy was certainly decent, but the smart car was ‘green’. Now, with about 9,000 kilometres under its belt on the odometer, warm temperatures could mean the smart’s summer’s best of 41.3 from a slow jaunt across Prince Edward Island last summer could accelerate toward the efficiency stratosphere.
General Motors may sell a Chevrolet Volt or three in 2010. It’s been a long time coming, but the Chevrolet Volt is undergoing final testing and this car could be the genuine expression of ‘future car’. Imagine a car that uses fuel when necessary but plugs in to your house for a fill-up. Imagine an electric car with no limit on its range. Then apply these newfangled characteristics to a vehicle capable of normal acceleration and 4-passenger comfort. Tres bien.