If only a nonluxury electric vehicle could deliver more than a 100- to 120-mile driving range on a single battery charge, EV critics have long lamented. Only that, they said, would kick EV sales into high gear. In 2016, General Motors delivered with the Chevrolet Bolt, with an EPA-rated all-electric range of 238 miles.
In 2016, we said hello to ...
The president-elect has been a fountain of controversies and headlines on all fronts. But his campaign promises spell upheaval for the U.S. auto industry. Will he upend 20 years of manufacturing decisions by puncturing NAFTA? Will he make it tougher for supply chains to import parts from Japan and China? Will he deflate the environmental commitments that underpin the race for fuel efficiency and electrification? Hello, President Trump.
Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung plunged into the car business with an estimated $8 billion acquisition of Harman International, a leading supplier of automotive communications components. Samsung's motivation? Harman gives Samsung the vehicle to accelerate the auto market introduction of -- well, whatever technology it feels like.
Things didn’t work out for Henrik Fisker’s luxury plug-in hybrid Karma sedan after it launched in 2011. Now comes the Karma Revero, built by Karma Automotive, the Chinese-owned entity that bought Fisker’s Karma designs, engineering and factory tooling in 2014. Any similarities between the 2011 Fisker Karma and the 2017 Karma Revero are purely karmic.
Dealers looked suspiciously at the used-vehicle sales portal when it launched in 2016. But General Motors assured dealers that it is intended to simply capture pre-owned customers and route them back to brand sites to find dealers.
PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares revealed in 2016 that Peugeot is hatching its U.S. comeback — although it won’t be the same-old, same-old business model, he mysteriously promised. And sibling brand Citroen might come along. At the same time, Volkswagen Group’s Skoda brand said it too wants to enter the U.S., and so did Korea’s Ssangyong Motor Co.
Faraday Future broke ground on a billion-dollar EV factory in Las Vegas in 2016, and then halted work, and it remained unclear if it’s Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting who is secretly running the show. Not long after, another Jia-backed venture, Lucid Motors, said it wants to produce luxury cars in Arizona.
Millions of unfixed recalls morphed into a new headache for retailers in 2016: Is it illegal — or maybe just a violation of franchise agreements — to sell a used car with an open recall notice? The resulting confusion was an unwelcome complication in a market that begged for used vehicles.
The split-up of mighty Johnson Controls gave birth to Adient, a laser-focused, lean-and-mean company that also happens to be the world’s biggest auto seat maker.
Hinrich Woebcken, a low-profile engineer who spent 10 years at BMW, accepted what Volkswagen promises will be a high-profile position — head of the VW brand’s new North America region — after the original choice, Skoda chief Winfried Vahland, backed out. Woebcken later expanded his portfolio by taking over for Michael Horn as head of VW Group of America.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.