Now that it is over, I think it is only appropriate to take a quick look back at 2013 to see what stories really changed the auto industry.
In the year 2020, what will insiders to the business remember about this year? Although 2013 will be remembered for eclipsing the 15 million vehicle mark for the first time since 2007, there were many other stories that made history. So I present to you the Car Pro Top Stories of 2013.
#5) Year of the Pickup: An improving economy and the quest for better fuel economy sparked a lot of new entries into the half-ton truck wars. GM brought out its first new Silverado and Sierra in 7 years, Toyota brought out a new Tundra, Chrysler’s Ram truck continues to grab headlines with a small diesel engine, and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Ford announced that 2015 will bring an all-aluminum truck, and even Nissan got into the act announcing that they, too, would offer a small half-ton diesel. Truck buyers had big news for 2013, and have a lot of choices to consider.
#4) Electric Vehicle Price Cuts: At the end of 2012, it was fairly clear that Americans thought the prices of electric vehicles were too high, even considering federal tax breaks and additional state tax credits. Nissan kicked off the price reductions by lowering the Leaf $6400. Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, and Smart all dropped their prices significantly. Although the number of electric cars is still low, the price adjustments were successful. EV sales doubled in 2013 over 2012, and today, there are a number of electric cars that can be bought under $30,000 before federal tax credits are applied.
#3) American Muscle Cars: The highly anticipated return of the Corvette Stingray created a huge buzz for Chevrolet and General Motors, and thousands flocked to Chevy dealers to get one of the early C7 models, that were priced starting at $52,000. Chevy kept the sizzle going by starting production of the convertible late in 2013, and making other announcements that there would be halo models in the pipeline, like the Z06. Ford, not to be outdone, rushed forward with pictures and details of the all-new 2015 Mustang. Between these two iconic cars, they were some of the most searched pictures on the web.
#2) GM Names A Female CEO: Outgoing CEO Dan Akerson hinted at this months ago, but it became official in December; Mary Barra would become the CEO of General Motors in early 2014. This marks the first time a female has run a major automotive manufacturer. The 51-year old Barra has been with General Motors for 33 years and rose through the ranks after starting in engineering. This was a breakthrough appointment for women into an industry that is heavily dominated by males.
-Jerry Reynolds, The Car Pro