Autocar's information to what's going to occur in 2019

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As a part of our information to the proper motoring 12 months, listed below are our predictions for what to anticipate from the automotive world within the subsequent twelve months

We have kicked off January with an inventory of what to be careful for in 2019 with our complete information to precisely what new automobiles are as a consequence of hit showrooms over the subsequent twelve months. 

However what concerning the issues we do not know? The next won’t be set in stone, however Autocar’s writers have predicted what you possibly can anticipate from the automotive business in 2019.

James Dyson will spark a revolution 

Inventor James Dyson is promising a revolutionary electrical automotive on sale in 2021, which makes 2019 a important 12 months as he readies a brand new British take a look at monitor and Singapore manufacturing plant for operations. 

The Singapore manufacturing facility is because of be completed in 2020 and a primary sight of a minimum of a sketch of the Dyson EV should be a robust risk this 12 months, most probably within the final quarter. 

As a brand new market entrant, Dyson can reveal particulars of his new automotive with out the danger of adversely affecting gross sales of an current mannequin, though the corporate can be conscious about revealing an excessive amount of to rivals. 

Dyson has a historical past of defending its designs and R&D spending within the courts and 6 years in the past accused Bosch – whose automotive division is likely one of the world’s largest automotive elements suppliers – of stealing secrets and techniques of patented high-speed brushless motors. 

Since then, Dyson has been locked in a authorized battle on the European Courtroom over vitality labelling of vacuum cleaners, once more placing him at loggerheads with Bosch’s house merchandise division. 

Nevertheless, the necessity to put together automotive consumers for the shock of a Dyson-designed electrical automotive could nicely override considerations over mental property and encourage the British inventor to disclose define particulars of the brand new automotive 12 or 18 months forward of its launch. Julian Rendell 

Brexit? Who is aware of… nevertheless it gained’t be easy

No matter your political view, we will all agree that Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union hasn’t precisely been clean or predictable. And occasions unfolding in Westminster and Brussels imply that, on the time of writing, no one actually is aware of what’s going to occur. 

Which, for multinational automotive companies with tight manufacturing chains that cross the UK/EU border repeatedly, is a large dose of wholly unwelcome uncertainty in an already turbulent market. And multinational automotive companies hate uncertainty. 

So right here’s how issues stand. At 11pm on 29 March, Britain will completely, undoubtedly depart the EU. Most likely. 

When/if Britain leaves, relations between the 2 can be ruled by a withdrawal settlement – if the UK parliament approves it in a vote, which can or could not happen mid-January. Ought to that not occur, a brand new deal could also be agreed, or Britain will depart with out one. Or delay Brexit. Or stage a second referendum. 

Crystal clear to date, proper? 

If Britain leaves with a withdrawal settlement, issues ought to proceed just about as they’re till 31 December 2020, by which level a full commerce deal will or gained’t have been agreed. If Britain leaves and not using a deal, cross-border relations could be lined by World Commerce Group guidelines or another yet-to-be-determined system (rock paper scissors, anybody?). And which will or could not trigger large disruption to manufacturing industries – together with the automotive business – with short-timeline manufacturing chains that depend on tariff- and delay-free motion throughout the border. 

It’s not simply business that may very well be affected: you may want an Worldwide Driving Allow to drive within the EU, must type completely different automotive insurance coverage, or possible want a visa waiver to enter European nations. 

Easy, proper? Nicely, no. Frankly, attempting to foretell Brexit is an unattainable job – which is strictly the issue for these individuals and companies whose livelihoods may depend upon how and when it occurs. What we will predict is that, no matter kind Brexit takes, it’s going to have a serious affect on the British automotive business. 

Most likely. James Attwood

UK vegetation can be underneath risk

Carefully linked to Brexit – will 2019 be the 12 months main automotive plant shuts within the UK? There are a number of attainable candidates, however historical past suggests any closure plan will develop over a few years and is prone to be leaked nicely upfront – given the cataclysmic impact on jobs, the provision chain and Westminster politics. So we wouldn’t anticipate the doorways to be shuttered on any main plant in 2019, however because the element of the UK’s future commerce settlement is negotiated from April (most likely…), any improve within the PR quantity round a plant closure is noise we actually don’t wish to hear this 12 months. Julian Rendell

The US/China commerce struggle will affect automotive manufacturing 

The on/off commerce struggle between the US and China and the US and the EU is already influencing international automotive manufacturing. For instance, Geely-owned Volvo has introduced decrease volumes of exports to China of the S60 from a brand new US plant in Charleston as a response to gross sales dragged down by increased import duties. In consequence, a query hangs over US funding for the XC90, with gross sales in China underneath risk. 

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In the meantime, BMW is growing manufacturing in China of the X3, a mannequin that beforehand was globally sourced from South Carolina. Others – like Ford, which exports the Mustang to China – are remaining cagey about their response to the tariff struggle. Within the US, this has seen responsibility improve to 25% to match China, whereas the Asian nation has responded by climbing its responsibility to 40%. 

This tit-for-tat may really assist European automotive makers as a result of China, to spite the US, decreased tariffs on automobiles made all over the place exterior the US to 15%. We are able to anticipate extra upping-and-downing of tariffs throughout 2019 as the 2 superpowers manoeuvre round one another with the Trump administration even fascinated by detonating its personal 40% tariff on Chinese language imports. Julian Rendell

New diesels will come again

Anticipate the cruel perspective from new automotive consumers in the direction of diesel to melt as soon as the penny drops that, underneath the brand new WLTP emissions laws, the most recent diesels produce cleaner real-world exhaust emissions than older petrol automobiles. Standard medium and huge SUVs depend on frugal diesel engines to stay viable from the perspective of gas prices and likewise CO2 emissions. Diesels typically will at all times be extra economical than petrol automobiles or petrol hybrids for motorway customers. Patrons who’ve switched away from diesel could discover the real-world financial system too compelling to not wish to return to it. Jesse Crosse

Lewis Hamilton will win a sixth F1 title – and Max Verstappen can be his closest challenger

As Components 1 predictions go, selecting Lewis Hamilton to win a sixth title feels a bit too simple. Given Mercedes has been an oasis of calm in an low season of change and Hamilton stays the benchmark for pace, it’s hardly a daring shout. So we’ll stick our neck out and tip Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen as his closest rival. 

Why? The Honda engine isn’t as unhealthy as many suppose, Crimson Bull may have Honda’s consideration in a manner Renault by no means did and, with Daniel Ricciardo gone, Verstappen would be the group’s focus. 

And what of Sebastian Vettel? Nicely, Ferrari needs to be within the combine, however there are growing indicators of stress between driver and group, and new arrival Charles Leclerc ought to pose extra of a problem than Kimi Raikkonen. 

One other tip: with solely the British Grand Prix stay on terrestrial TV this 12 months, anticipate viewing figures to drop considerably. James Attwood

Kris Meeke will battle for the WRC title

Kris Meeke’s World Rally Championship profession seemingly got here to an abrupt finish when he was fired throughout 2018 after one crash too many. As an alternative, the Northern Irishman has landed a works Toyota drive. The Yaris WRC was arguably the quickest automotive of 2018, making the ultra-quick Meeke a real title risk. James Attwood

Volkswagen will break one other EV file

Till an acceptable electrical motorsport championship arrives, VW is creating its personal challenges. Final 12 months, it was Pikes Peak (outright file: achieved); this 12 months, the Nürburgring. Formally, a modified 671bhp ID R prototype will bid for the electrical file – however VW thinks Porsche’s total file could be crushed… James Attwood

Fernando Alonso will win the Indy 500

The 2-time F1 world champion proved he was greater than able to successful the Indy 500 by main for a big chunk of the race on his first try in 2017. Engine failure robbed him that point round, however in 2019 he’ll have higher luck (even when the entry is run straight by McLaren this time) and safe that Triple Crown. Dan Prosser

The brand new Land Rover Defender’s design will make Brexit debate appear delicate…

Really, a really massive a part of me thinks that there gained’t be a debate and that automotive fans have already closed their minds to accepting the brand new Defender. 

However right here’s hoping that Autocar readers are a bit broader-minded than this – and that we will all wait till the covers come off earlier than leaping to conclusions. In spite of everything, the perfect footage we’ve seen of the Defender to date are resplendent in camouflage to make the SAS proud. 

The case for the defence has benefit. First, if the Defender is to exist in any respect, Land Rover should flip it from a 20,000-units-a-year vendor to a 50,000-a-year one. It could be enterprise suicide to plough the identical furrow carved by the previous Defender. 

Second, they gained’t be launching a brand new Defender per se, however reasonably a brand new household of Defenders. Does that imply there can be one designed for displaying off in Chelsea reasonably than traversing a swollen Zambezi? Most likely. However don’t moan: simply take your choose. 

Lastly, Land Rover’s design group arrive at this level with a string of king-hits to their title, the rear finish of the most recent Discovery apart (arguably). Prefer it or not (and isn’t it so very British to be snooty about it), they’ve knocked out success after success. May or not it’s that they may prime their biggest triumph of current instances – the Evoque, absolutely – and unveil a Defender that makes us all fall in love with it? 

(… and it’d break our web site)

Probably the most extremely anticipated automotive of the century? Most likely. If there’s one automotive that can make our web site break, from sheer variety of readers, it’s the Defender. Fortunate we’ve bought a robust web site, then… Jim Holder

Automobile makers will co-operate extra

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It wasn’t so way back that marques that had been owned by the identical firm couldn’t fathom methods to work collectively (we’re speaking about you, Saab), overlooking the potential to avoid wasting tens of tens of millions in growth prices by sharing know-how internally. 

Now, although, it’s all the craze for marques that aren’t even owned by the identical firm to work collectively, be it PSA and BMW, BMW and Toyota, Renault, Nissan and Mercedes, Mazda and Fiat, Audi and Hyundai, or Ford and Volkswagen. 

Anticipate to see this pattern intensify as automotive makers resist the challenges (and prices) of growing hybrid, electrical and hydrogen powertrains similtaneously investing in connectivity, autonomy and extra. Jim Holder

Jaguar Land Rover will make a comeback

Issues aren’t sensible at JLR proper now. Which comes as fairly a shock. We’re all so used to repeated tales of stellar gross sales success, particularly at Land Rover, that current information of JLR reverses (sending mother or father Tata Group’s shares a lot nearer to ‘junk’ standing than is comfy) makes scary, out-of-character studying. However I predict a JLR comeback later in 2019. President Trump appears nearer to therapeutic his rift over tariffs with the Chinese language that has value JLR “1000’s” of automotive gross sales there. The present internet of uncertainty over Brexit should absolutely attain a firmer foundation by March – even when there’ll undoubtedly be lingering issues to unravel – and (as Autocar readers can be nicely conscious) each Jaguar and Land Rover are recognized to have a sequence of attractive, rule-changing automobiles to launch this 12 months and subsequent. 

In the meantime, JLR’s full-steam enlargement of its Gaydon HQ, which is creating a house for no fewer than 12,000 engineers, continues to talk loudly of long-term firm confidence. Most significantly, the individuals behind the current explosive enlargement of JLR’s enterprise are nonetheless on the job (their ranks augmented by others of comparable talent), so it’s tough to see why they gained’t construct a powerful restoration – and shortly. Steve Cropley

We’ll be taught extra about Ineos and Ford’s Bridgend plant

This 12 months ought to see the emergence of extra element about ‘Projekt Grenadier’, the rugged 4×4 that British chemical firm Ineos plans to promote in 2021 as a non secular successor to the discontinued Land Rover Defender. 

First needs to be particulars of the manufacturing web site for the 25,000 Grenadiers Ineos plans to construct annually, with Ford’s Bridgend plant within the working together with a minimum of one different, unnamed location. Bridgend may have extra capability in 2020 when a contract to construct Jaguar Land Rover’s V8 petrol engines involves an finish. Julian Rendell

2019 can be an electrical 12 months

In 2018 we bought excited concerning the Jaguar I-Tempo, Audi E-tron and Mercedes EQ C, however this would be the 12 months when viable all-electric alternate options to petrol and diesel actually start to take off. The place Tesla led the best way in vary – at a value – others now observe with extra inexpensive long-range EVs. The 64kWh variations of Hyundai’s Kona Electrical and the forthcoming Kia e-Niro are examples of how briskly vary and value are converging, and each are able to longrange highway journeys. 

We’ll additionally see thrilling new automobiles such because the Volkswagen ID hatchback, which VW claims will value the identical as a Golf diesel; the Honda City EV, a good-looking retro supermini; and the Porsche Taycan. Bulletins from different producers are possible earlier than 2019 is out if they don’t seem to be to danger being left behind. The 12 months of the EV is upon us. Jesse Crosse/Rachel Burgess

Hyundai-Kia will carry on astounding

Bear in mind the primary time you contemplated simply how far Hyundai and Kia had are available in such a brief area of time, most likely about 10 years in the past? Chances are high you will have contemplated the identical level nearly each single 12 months since. The co-owned companies’ price of development is as relentless as it’s exceptional. 

At the moment, you’ll notice a line-up of mainstream fashions that equal probably the most established of their opposition in each sector of the market. You’ll recognize that they’ve launched a sizzling hatch within the i30 N that’s, on the first try, a rival to the perfect on sale. Then you definitely’ll think about that the Kona Electrical (and shortly Kia e-Niro) has fully rewritten the electrical automotive value versus vary equation. And, lastly, you’ll nod approvingly that the second-generation Nexo hydrogen gas cell automotive that’s already on sale earlier than most automotive makers have even launched such a product. Jim Holder

PHEV gross sales will fall

Plug-in hybrid gross sales have been rising for a while now, providing an ideal first step in the direction of zero emissions. However, in September final 12 months, the Authorities introduced it was axing the plug-in grant for PHEVs, as a substitute specializing in incentives for pure electrical fashions. Now there’s each probability the UK will observe within the footsteps of the Netherlands. It was the main marketplace for PHEVs in 2015, because of beneficiant tax incentives for firm automotive drivers, after which because the grants waned, the market collapsed. Now, the Netherlands isn’t even within the prime 10 European markets for PHEVs. Rachel Burgess

No person will obtain a TVR

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I’ll be amazed if a TVR buyer takes supply in 2019. Because it stands, TVR nonetheless has to supply 25% of the elements for its new Griffith and the manufacturing facility is outwardly seven months delayed owing to unexpected paperwork difficulties. This wouldn’t be an issue if no one had been proven the automotive but and a load of deposits hadn’t been taken for it. Whereas in some methods it’s nice to see a mission evolve, finally I favor the Ariel route: ‘Right here’s our new automotive. It’s completed. We begin constructing subsequent week. Need to purchase one?’ Matt Prior

EV platforms will get extra subtle

Electrical automotive mechanical structure will start to alter. Typically, pure EV platforms observe a well-known theme: batteries on the backside, between the axles, as a result of they’re large and heavy and never precisely malleable, and that’s the place they’re most secure and hold a automotive most agile. It’s why EVs swimsuit being crossovers. 

Already this skateboard-style structure gives packaging benefits over making room for an engine, however EVs will supply extra benefits once more as soon as energy reserves don’t must be in a single large stable block collectively. There’ll solely be shoots of this to search for in 2019, however skateboard platforms have slashed the price of entry into the automotive market, so the institution will attempt to discover extra subtle methods to do issues to provide them a aggressive benefit. Matt Prior

We’ll be taught extra concerning the UK battery industrialisation centre

Will the Authorities be capable of title a serious tier one cell producer (possibly Panasonic, LG Chem or Siemens) for the plant in Coventry that not too long ago gained planning permission? Building is predicted to start out in mid-2019 and end in 2020, whereas behind-the-scenes efforts to market the UK as a world hub for cell manufacture collect tempo. Julian Rendell

The age of the coach builder will return

The so-called skateboard electrical automotive platform has rapidly turn into the structure of selection for premium EVs. The battery cells and motors are all commodities, which implies a world automotive provider will quickly begin providing its personal such platform to automotive makers. Not solely does that save producers the price of growing one themselves, it additionally means smaller companies will be capable of purchase in a rolling chassis and add their very own bodywork and cabins. The age of the automotive coachbuilder can be again upon us. Dan Prosser

Vauxhall will proceed to bounce again

Vauxhall-Opel returned to revenue for the primary time in 19 years in 2018, having been underneath PSA possession for little greater than 12 months. It’s not with out unhealthy information – we’ve already seen two waves of job losses at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant – however PSA boss Carlos Tavares believes such cost-cutting will finally be a power for good. First indicators are constructive – subsequent, the 2019 Corsa must show its price. Rachel Burgess

Tesla can be purchased

To Tesla’s military of fervent followers, the corporate has already rewritten the principles of the automotive business and can at all times stay forward of the sphere. To others, it’s a punky upstart that’s about to be overcome by the burden of expertise that those self same established automotive makers have constructed up over 100 years. Maybe a situation that sits between the 2 can be the place the cube lastly settles. Because the EV market hots up, it’s completely conceivable that some Tesla traders will want to money in, and old-school automotive makers could eagerly step as much as purchase a few of that stardust. A Volkswagen ID Tesla version? You learn it right here first… Jim Holder

We’ll see much less of Elon Musk

One other Tesla take is that 2019 would be the 12 months when the agency settles down and makes headlines for the suitable causes – well-built new fashions, rising gross sales and a dependable buying and selling revenue. The important thing date is Could/June, when Robyn Denholm, a brand new impartial chairperson, takes up her function, changing Tesla founder Elon Musk. Denholm was a Tesla non-executive director and head of technique at Australian cell phone operator Telstra. 

On the urging of the US inventory market regulator, the SEC, she was appointed as Tesla chairperson in November 2018, after Musk’s erratic communications final 12 months had been dominated as deceptive to traders. 

Denholm is sitting out a six-month discover interval till mid-2019, and arrives with a quick to convey better company accountability to Tesla’s relations with the US inventory market. 

However damping down Musk’s more and more irrational administration fashion may also solely profit Tesla’s enterprise and the automobiles it builds, particularly with the right-hand-drive Mannequin three due on sale within the UK in late 2019 and the Mannequin Y compact crossover due for international reveal in mid-2019. Julian Rendell

There can be extra emissions scandals

I don’t suppose we’ve seen the final revelation of emission-test rigging. I reckon there are too many corporations, with too many individuals, underneath too many pressures, for extra corners to not have been minimize. Matt Prior

Learn extra

New Vehicles 2019: What’s coming and when?

New electrical automobiles 2019/2020: What’s coming and when?​

What we’re excited for in 2019​

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