The forecasters and data scientists from ALG usually get things pretty close to spot-on. And if they are off, they quickly pinpoint why and make a tweak.
After presenting their outlook on the market impact of the pandemic last week, they added an entertaining coda: a plunge into the world of "what if?"
Given the mood of this moment and the sense of uncertainty, they indulged themselves to wonder aloud what surprises might come our way in the hazy year ahead.
Even they acknowledged that these things might be far-fetched. But it's not as if anyone predicted this a year ago.
Possibility No. 1: The giants of American techdom — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — move forward into carmaking in a way that the traditional industry has long feared, using their vast new wealth to create vehicles for the future.
Likely? No. But still — coming from the data scientists at ALG, it sounded good.
Possibility No. 2: The new Biden administration decides to move the needle on green cars and calls for another Cash for Clunkers program, this time focused specifically on sparking electric vehicle sales.
Plausible? We'll see.
Possibility No. 3: China's big EV industry turns its attention to exporting to the U.S. market. That hasn't happened yet, but time will tell.
Possibility No. 4: A new outpouring of smart-car features and technologies, such as systems that perform body temperature checks or detect when it's time to turn on some soothing music. Such tech exists today, more or less. Could it go mainstream next year? That depends on how badly automakers want it.
Possibility No. 5: A shift to more build-to-order vehicles, as consumers develop more of a liking for car-shopping from their couch.
Possibility No. 6: A surge of interest in on-demand vehicle subscription services.
ALG's team thinks it's possible, so it gets a nod of plausibility. But considering the lackluster interest in subscriptions so far, that one could require a tweak.