2020 has not been a kind year, to put it mildly. Every form of business has come to a standstill, the auto industry being no exception. But even though the hardship, the industry evolved and adapted to the current climate. Here's a list of the five biggest events that shaped the auto industry in 2020, for better or worse.
The fight against Covid-19
The war against this new virus meant all hands on deck, and the auto industry answered the call. Lamborghini Made masks, McLaren designed respirators, while companies such as Tesla and SEAT repurposed their exiting cars parts to make ventilators. Some companies, Such as BYD, Mahindra, and GM, went the extra mile and dedicated entire production plants to make face masks, PPE, and disinfectants. Smaller shops such as the American JK Automotive Designs repurposed their tooling to build face masks for local health workers. Many other companies provided cars and services to keep the health workers on move, with Rolls Royce deploying a fleet of 30 limousines to help the British Red Cross and UK National Health Service.
Geneva, New York, SEMA. Not a single one of these prestigious motor shows managed to escape the grasp of the pandemic. Some tried to postponed, others attempted to employ strict safety guidelines, but the risk of spread proved to too much in both cases. One country that did manage to hold their shows, however. China, who officially managed to pretty much control the spread of the Virus by late March, managed to host both Chengdu and Beijing Motor show at their rescheduled date. For the rest of the world, however, automakers had to look into an alternative method to promote their new products. This brings us to our next topic.
The rise of virtual events
The use of virtual communication exploded after the lockdown. Software such as Zoom, Facebook Live has become a part of our everyday lives. Naturally, it didn't take long for automates to pick up on this. The world was introduced to new and exciting cars —not from the floor of auto shows— but through live unrevealing events straight from factory floors. Koenigsegg Gemera, Maserati MC20, Bentley Bacalar all made their
debut through the lens of a webcam. The world of motorsport also made the switch, with professional race cars drivers and teams taking the competition to the virtual sim racing world of iRacing. However, for all the radical new changes, 2020 also bought back some beloved familiar names.
The rebirth of classic nameplates
Ford Bronco, Nissan Z, Hummer. 2020 has been the year when the automakers finally listened to the voice of the enthusiast and added some fun to their line-up. Bronco, the beloved off-roader from the blue oval has been resurrected and seems to blow the competition out of the water. Nissan, after years of decline, finally got their act together and put together a new Z car with retro styling and 400 horsepower under the bonnet. Finally, the gas-guzzling Hummer —once the darling of American people— also got a refresh, but with a twist.
Electrification of everything
The new Hummer doesn't chug gas, it consumes electricity. And the switch to EV seems to be the most defining moment of this year. Volkswagen rolled out the ID.3, BMW flashed the IX, Nissan debuted the Ariya. Even Ford showed off a test mule for their electric F-150 truck, along with a crazy track-only version of their Mustang SUV. Toyota also debuted the next generation of their Mirai FCV and compared to the ugly duckling that was its predecessor, it's a white swan. The car industry is finally taking the zero-emission concept seriously, and its shows. Hopefully, it's not too late to save mother Earth, and humanity with it.