Historically, 2014 might go down in automotive history as the year that recalls exploded, not the one when Fiat and Chrysler united to form FCA or the one that auto sales have finally recovered from the latest economic crisis.
The auto industry had its fare share of (huge) bumps in the road this year, but in the end it’s all about the Benjamins’, and from that perspective it’s better than ever. Actually, when it comes to sales predictions – with full year sales forecasted to close in the vicinity of 17 million units, it’s going to be the best year since 2006. But, incidentally, the biggest auto stories of the year are lead by two recalls.
The first and second positions go – unfortunately – to the life-threatening GM ignition switch recall and Takata airbag defects. Both the No. 1 automaker and the Japanese auto safety parts supplier have been involved in massive recall campaigns – which aided 2014 reaching an unprecedented tally of more than 60 million units.
Third place goes to the official marriage between Fiat SpA and the Chrysler Group LLC into the seventh-largest global automaker: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. Fourth place in auto stories goes to the SUV/pickup sales comeback and fifth place goes to the incredible gas price slump seen in recent months.