Media Land Rover

How did Autocar's 2019 predictions fare?

Back in January, we took the foolhardy step of predicting what would happen in the car industry in 2019.

We tried to forecast the key events and trends that would shape the motoring world, covering topics as diverse as the new Land Rover Defender’s styling, Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 title chances and – inevitably – Brexit.

With the year winding down, it’s time to look back and see whether our predictions were on the (crystal) ball.

Jaguar Land Rover

The long-awaited new Land Rover Defender was launched this year. You may have heard already. It was, after all, one of the biggest reveals of 2019 – and the biggest from JLR for several years.

With the firm set on reinventing the Defender for the modern era, we predicted that “the new Land Rover Defender’s design will make Brexit debates seem mild”. That was true (up to a point): everyone seems to have an opinion on it, from those who think it’s a glorious reinvention to others who insist it’s an unworthy pastiche.

We also suggested the Defender might break our website from sheer number of readers: thankfully, stayed functioning on the big day (thanks, tech team), although you did try: the Defender was the most-read-about car of 2019.

We also tipped a comeback for Jaguar Land Rover, reasoning it had a “series of enticing, rule-changing cars to launch this year and next”. Given JLR’s ongoing financial struggles, including having to massively write down its assets, it’s a bit of a stretch to say the comeback is on, but there are signs of recovery. It is investing in new models, and the likes of the bold new electric-only Jaguar XJ show there are some exciting innovations, too.