No matter where you live, by now 2018 is gone and 2019 is upon us. So, it goes without saying that everyone in Carscoops wishes you a happy new year that, hopefully, will also be better than the one that’s just left us.
Now, we won’t gloat or break down everything that we did the past 365 days (yep, the site has been online each and every day) – we’ll let you be the judge of whether we’ve been
naughty or nice good at what we do or if there’s still room for improvement.
Instead, we’ll take a look at the most memorable things that occurred (or failed to materialize) in 2018.
Your car is your chauffeur
For example, autonomous vehicles were all the rage – not just by manufacturers but tech companies, too. In March, though, a fatal accident involving a Volvo XC90 fitted with Uber’s proprietary self-driving systems was a major setback, as it made everyone rethink if this technology is safe enough to unleash on the streets – and it wasn’t helped by the fact that simulations showed that the system should have detected the victim.
In the aftermath of dieselgate, many countries have re-examined how diesel-powered cars affect air quality, and a number of cities around the world decided that, sooner or later, they would ban older diesels and, in some cases, even newer ones from their center. Some automakers have vowed to ditch oil burners altogether, while others are still undecided and only a small number have declared that they aren’t ready to give up on them just yet.
Electrification was also a big thing, with VW, Audi and Mercedes choosing to develop their own, EV-only sub-brands. Why, even Porsche will roll out an all-electric saloon, the Taycan, which it promises will be true to the Porsche ethos. And then there’s Tesla who, Elon Musk’s tweets and SEC troubles aside, finally commenced mass production of the Model 3, even if quality control still leaves a lot to be desired.
The People’s Republic
China, too, made headlines quite frequently, as it lifted the law that demanded foreign carmakers to team up with a local company, giving the likes of Tesla and BMW the freedom to expand their operations in the country. Plus, it also engaged in a trade war with the U.S.
That, however, had as much to do with President Donald Trump who, this year, decided to get engaged in the automotive industry. Subtle, he was not: first he threatened Ford, who eventually caved in, and then General Motors, whose CEO Mary Barra seems unfazed and determined to stick to the group’s cost-cutting plans.
Britain’s exit from the EU
Last, but not least, there was the issue of the Brexit that, as many automakers pointed out, will have detrimental consequences for their UK factories and employees. And, of course, Carlos Ghosn’s fall from grace, as from Nissan’s savior and CEO extraordinaire, he was arrested over financial misconduct.