Only when you get a chance to look back carefully at what the motor industry achieved in 2015 does it become clear what a truly remarkable year we’ve just had.
By March 2015, in a stellar couple of months that included the greatest Geneva motor show of all time, we had seen a new SUV from Rolls-Royce and a new Aston Martin-chasing supercar concept from Bentley. Not to mention a McLaren for the Porsche 911 market, the return of the Ford Focus RS and the Jaguar F-Pace SUV, a cert to become the best-selling Jag in history.
Through the year, the breakneck news pace never slowed. We had an Alfa Romeo revival, more Hondas than you could count, the rebirth of the Mazda rotary sports car and 100 other events just as important. Then late in the year we watched, amazed, as Volkswagen trashed its own reputation – in a way no onlooker could ever have predicted.
However, in this all-too-brief summary, we major on the positives, knowing much more big news is coming. The extraordinary events of 2015 were born in the middle of the 2008-2011 financial crisis because, even in hard times, the motor industry only knows how to go forward. As a matter of fact, it has already selected first gear to drive into 2016 and is about to drop the clutch.
The winners and losers of 2015
Makers of three-cylinder petrol engines (BMW, Ford, Mini, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Toyota, Renault, Vauxhall) that have brought true refinement to cheap cars.
Sellers of electric cars: demand for their products has quadrupled (from a pretty low figure).