Whats up everyone. The car industry is continually changing. In just a few years, collective taste and car trends can be radically different. In the last couple of years, we have witnessed several new directions, some of them good and some of them pretty bad. In fact, in a previous video, I covered the trends we want to disappear in 2019. However, today, we will go a step further and discuss trends we can expect to see in 2020.
1. Rise of the pickup market
For several years now, pickups have steadily become increasingly common vehicles, especially in Europe. Apart from America and Australia, where pickups are the most common types of vehicles, in Europe, light trucks were never that popular and were always used by handymen, delivery services, road assistance, and so on. However, in the last decade, pickups are becoming more and more popular with European buyers, mostly because they are now pretty sophisticated vehicles with luxury interiors, smooth ride and cool image. Popular models include the new Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Toyota Hilux, or Renault Alaskan, all offering excellent road manners with competent all-wheel-drive systems. They are a great alternative to soft SUV models and dependable cars for people with active hobbies, not just those who want to LOOK like they’re active!
2. Disappearance of C-Segment
For those that dont know, the C-Segment is the family hatchback class, which until recently has been the best-selling car segment across the globe. Often known as the Golf-Class since the Volkswagen Golf is one of its most recognizable models, the C-Segment looks to be under heavy fire from the rise of compact SUVs. So much so, that the once very colorful market segment with many versions and models is slowly being shut down. From 2019 onwards, Ford will not offer the Focus on the American market, and the next version of Volkswagen Golf will only have two body styles – a five-door hatchback and estate. The golf has barely changed in a decade, signaling Volkswagens lack of investment in that area. Annoyingly, many manufacturers in this field have also stopped offering three-door hatchbacks too, claiming a lack of sales in that configuration.
3. Further phasing out diesel engines
Not that long ago, diesel-powered cars made up more than half of all new car sales in Europe. In 2018 however, this number fell to just 36%, a steep decline. We can pretty much expect that number to be even lower in 2020 for several reasons. Firstly, it seems that almost every day the list of European cities banning diesel cars from entering the city center is gets longer. Secondly, with small-displacement petrol engines equipped with a turbocharger, there’s much less of need for a diesel engine in terms of economy or performance and thirdly, new environmental laws and regulations being inflicted on diesel tech. It was only a decade ago that governments were practically shoving black fuel down car buyers throats and now they’re almost banning the stuff! Of course, diesel as fuel won’t disappear overnight, but this trend is showing no sign of slowing.
4. New generation of petrol engines
It tends to be Japanese manufacturers that make all the headlines for innovative concepts of petrol engines. Mazda`s iconic Wankel rotary engine is rumored to be making a return and Nissan`s variable compression ratio engine is aready here, with a larger rollout in 2020. Whilst other manufacturers are also likely to present some new engine designs, it will be interesting to see how things pan out with the progression of gasoline vehicles. Despite the EV revolution being well under way, good-old petrol-powered engines are not yet ready for retirement, some manufacturers believing this more than others.
5. Another “Carmageddon”?
Yes, “Carmageddon” is a fun, arcade-style driving game, but its also the term that described the recession in the car industry in 2008/9. If you’re old enough to remember, the 2008 downturn hit the car industry particularly hard. The result was a sharp decline in sales as well as the government bailout of two industries giants – General Motors and Chrysler. For a couple of years, car market analysts are warning the public that this could happen again and very soon. The reasons are that the Chinese market had stalled as well as Europe and the Middle East. In fact, in some European markets, sales are down over 10% this year, which is alarming. According to the newest reports, more than 7 million American car buyers are in serious delinquency on their car loans which have grown ever popular. When the last recession hit the global economy, the first signs were abysmal car sales, which are precisely what is happening now. Hopefully this wont happen in 2020, but its likely that car sales will continue to decline.
6. Return of proper off-road vehicles
We all know that SUVs are currently the kings of the car industry in general and that the number of real off-road cars on sale absolutely tiny. That said, it looks like, after years of being bombarded by pseudo-off-road models, we will get some proper all terrain vehicles. Finally! There are two important premieres set for 2020, which have already caused much attention from the car public. The first one is the all-new 2020 Land Rover Defender, the newest version of a British motoring icon, and the second is the 2020 Ford Bronco, another off road legend. Both of those models will be released next year, will feature uncompromised off-road abilities and powerful engines. Both models are likely to be best-sellers and long may this trend continue!
So there you are. Are there any trends that I missed? Let me know in the comments.