So. New year, new you? It’s a new decade, the roaring twenties, so I know it’s time for a new me. More go-getting, inspired, spontaneous and lively. All starting right after a sit down with a nice cup of tea.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is, if they were really worth making, we’d have made them already. When something life-changing or profound happens, it just happens; you don’t think: ‘Great, I’ll get right on it on 1 January.’
So though I’d like to spend less time in airports, more time working on cars and bikes, driving to Scotland more and maybe watching fewer videos of dogs, let’s be realistic here.
What I won’t do is make motoring predictions for 2020. Firstly, because breaking news could happen while I write this, but also because, going by what we said in 2019, I’m not sure we’ve got great form.
Not so long ago, second guessing the industry would have been easier because, apart from the odd mega-merger every now and again, cars were easier to predict: there’d be a new one, 10% more powerful and 10% more efficient and probably a bit bigger and more expensive than the one it replaced. And that would be about it.
Today, the industry is more bewildering and harder to follow – and not just because there are about 40 Mercedes and they all look the same. Now it’s more interesting to report on, more fraught and more exciting to work in than at any point, I suspect, since The Autocar’s first few years – and we turn 125 later this year. Not sure how we’re going to mark that yet. But if I dare predict, I think it’ll be good.
■ I was very glad to read that Toyota is committed to replacing the Aygo city car, somehow, when the time comes. Because city cars – small, agile, light – are some of the best cars on sale. But it’s difficult to make money from them. Developing and making a small car doesn’t cost that much less than making a big one, and buyers can’t or won’t pay for expensive fuel-saving or safety technology on them.