- 2018 was probably the wildest yr within the historical past of the auto trade — and it wasn’t all due to Tesla and Elon Musk!
- Auto gross sales continued to growth within the US, fuel costs stayed comparatively low, self-driving automobile firms moved nearer to commercialization, electrical automobiles arrived in power, and Uber and Lyft introduced IPO intentions.
- The trade additionally misplaced one in every of its greats in FCA and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died at 66.
Yearly, I prefer to look again of the highs and lows of the auto trade and pick the largest tales.
For 2018, I had so many who the selecting wasn’t simple. I’ve zeroed in on 13 right here, however I believe I might have listed twice that many.
Trying forward, it is onerous to think about that 2019 will probably be as wild. However then once more, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk aren’t going wherever, auto gross sales within the US proceed to growth, and no person is aware of what is going to occur to jailed former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.
However for now, let’s evaluation that yr that is handed:
SEE ALSO: Tesla has achieved one thing that no person within the auto trade thought was potential
Elon Musk, Elon Musk, and but extra Elon Musk.
The already extremely fascinating Mr. Musk pushed it proper over the sting in 2018. After which he pushed it some extra.
He all however took over private oversight of Tesla’s troubled Mannequin three sedan rollout. He slept at his factories, probably generally with the help of Ambien. He began relationship musician Grimes. He flipped out on Wall Avenue analysts on an earnings name. He later apologized the analysts for flipping on their earnings name. He made a weak pot joke when he determined to drift a Tesla go-private scheme on Twitter ($420? Dude!). The was investigated by the SEC for mentioned tweet and needed to pay a advantageous and resign as chairman of Tesla. He wept in an interview with the New York Occasions. He talked robust in an interview with “60 Minutes.” He accused a rescue diver through the Thai cave disaster of being a pedophile (and later apologized).
There have been many, many, many tweets. I’ve most likely missed just a few alternative Muskisms. He was seemingly all over the place. And by the tip of all of it … Tesla was probably the most helpful US carmaker, by market capitalization, surpassing GM.
The Tesla Mannequin three arrives in power.
The Mannequin three was formally launched in July of 2017, however constructing and delivering the 400,000 pre-ordered automobiles to clients proved to be a titanic problem for Tesla. By the tip of the yr, only a few thousand had left the manufacturing unit.
The scenario did not enhance a lot within the first half of 2018, as Tesla struggled by an intense model of what Musk referred to as “manufacturing hell.”
However by mid-2018, the scenario was beneath management. Form of. An progressive Mannequin three automated manufacturing line wasn’t working correctly, main the carmaker to erect a brief meeting line in its car parking zone — beneath a tent! The $35,000 mass-market Mannequin three additionally did not materialize, as Tesla targeting upscale trim ranges, together with the just about $80,000 Efficiency model.
Because the yr closed out, Mannequin three manufacturing was comparatively sturdy, and Tesla was on monitor to supply twice as many automobiles — 200,000 or extra — because it did in 2017.
Close to-record US auto gross sales maintain up.
The report gross sales yr of 2015 — when 17.5 million new automobiles, vehicles, and SUVs have been bought within the US — was adopted by a brand new report in 2016 (17.55 million) and a near-record in 2017 (17.2 million).
A US market above 17 million is taken into account sturdy, so for the previous few years, forecasts of a downturn have been widespread.
It hasn’t but arrived, though gross sales have been slipping, in a month-by-month foundation. And though the ultimate 2018 numbers have not are available in, it appears to be like as if one other 17-million-plus yr will probably be within the books.
See the remainder of the story at Enterprise Insider