Casual observers of the automotive journalism scene (and doubly for those who couldn't give a shit), may not be surprised to know there's a secret society of A-listers who've met yearly since the 1960s to predict the future. These insiders gather in December at the Annual Predictions Lunch to crack wise, down a few rounds of whatever's closest and prognosticate on the industry in the coming year. It's an exclusive club that's invite only, made up of mainly major-market writers, ex-pats who've gone corporate (i.e., darksiders) and other knights of the reigning establishment. How's their record for predictions? "The results indicate that as a group, we're a bunch of fence-sitting non-declarers, no better at predicting the future than the folks we interview," said Jim Dunne of Popular Mechanics, one of the event's founders. Let's see what they have for this year.
· GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner won't last the year. Ditto Bob Lutz
· GM will file for bankruptcy or barely make it through the year without filing bankruptcy.
· GM will engineer a financial turnaround and rebound in market share.
· Management changes at Ford, though not big Bill.
· Ford sells Jaguar, dismantles its Premier Automotive Group
· Fusion sedan and upcoming Edge CUV will boost Ford's fortunes.
· Bloggers will crash next year's lunch with a crack team of strippers in tow, but will be fought off by Motor Trend's black-ops squadron disguised as parking-lot valets (ok, we made that one up).
Autoextremist's Christmas Advice [internal]