In 2020, we met COVID-19.
Last year was all about the microchip shortage.
In a refreshing reminder of what the Before Times were like, 2022 didn't have one ongoing story that dominated the auto industry.
Instead, it marked a return to many of the topics that automakers, dealers and suppliers had been talking about before we all got sidetracked for a good while:
- Electric vehicles — which there are a lot more of.
- Self-driving cars — which still aren't much of a thing.
- The future of franchised dealerships — which still is a thing, despite the best efforts of Tesla and Carvana.
- And, of course, the omnipresent Elon Musk — who still hasn't produced the Cybertruck or robotaxis he said were imminent pre-COVID.
As a result, this was the first time since those halcyon days of the last decade that we at Automotive News weren't immediately certain what to consider the year's top story. The lingering inventory and supply shortages? The transition to EVs? Michigan beating Ohio State again?
So, for the 70th consecutive year, we put it to a staff vote. Drama-filled negotiations in Washington emerged as the biggest news of 2022 by just one point. Here's a recap of the top 10: