Mercedes-Benz is perhaps the biggest name in luxury cars globally, and for countless buyers around the world, it is a car brand to aspire to own. The German automaker has a reputation for superb build quality, excellent engineering, and the bragging rights that its founder Carl Benz invented the first production automobile.
Today, Mercedes-Benz faces a new class of challenges as Tesla has become the aspirational brand for younger consumers. There is a slew of other EV hopefuls vying for the next generation’s aspirational vehicle’s mantle. Automakers have had to sink billions into new technologies and contend with a new crop of competitors in the critical Chinese market and around the world.
As tech companies become a key part of the auto industry, cars are looking more like giant computers on wheels. To understand why a tech giant like Apple might want to make a car, we built one out of iPhone parts. Photo illustration: Alex Kuzoian/WSJ
Born in the U.S.A, this 1960s VW Beetle Wizard gained its popularity in the midst of a custom car phenomenon with looks overriding performance, though it didn’t kick off in the UK until the 80s. Eye-catching, noisy and cool was the goal. About Car S.O.S Series 9: The best car restoration series with a big heart is back to bring a warm smile to all!
Master mechanic Fuzz Townshend and parts-blagging petrol head Tim Shaw set off on a mission to save decaying classic cars from their unsuspecting but very much deserving owners. The cars are taken to the Car S.O.S. garage with Tim & Fuzz racing against the clock to carefully restore it to its former glory, leading to the big, surprise reveal.
The global electric vehicle market is heating up and China wants to dominate. The country has invested at least $60 billion to support the EV industry and it’s pushing an ambitious plan to transition to all electric or hybrid cars by 2035. Tesla entered the Chinese market in 2019 and has seen rapid growth.
China sold roughly one million more EVs than the U.S. in 2020. But there are signs the U.S. is getting more serious about going electric. President Joe Biden announced a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and investments in green infrastructure. Watch the video to find out how China came to dominate the market and whether it’s too late for the U.S. to catch up.
As Tesla looks to expand to new markets, rumors are circulating that India could be next. While the 5th largest auto market could be big for the ev manufacturer, it’s filled with challenges and increasing competition.
There is an electric vehicle revolution sweeping the world, but India is lagging behind. Elon Musk has said that Tesla will enter India this year, but it’s not clear if that will actually happen. On January 8th, Tesla took its first step towards launching in the country, registering Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru.
But when Tesla does eventually come to India, it won’t be easy. The electric vehicle industry is in its infant stages there, lacking much of the infrastructure needed for widespread adoption. And the most popular vehicles are motorcycles, rickshaws and budget passenger cars. Watch the video to find out what Tesla will be up against in India.
Subaru started as a small scrappy Japanese brand, brought to the states by a couple of American businessmen in the 1960s, and was quickly met with ridicule. But it persisted, and over the decades has gone from being a small niche player to one of the most successful brands in America.
Subaru has weathered economic recessions far better than much larger competitors, and it is positioned near the top of consumer satisfaction surveys. But the ever-changing auto market presents some challenges for them, and they need to adapt to keep up.
When Subaru entered the United States in the 1960s it was panned by critics, and actually advertised its own cheap ugliness. Over the next several decades it would become a highly successful brand through a combination of offbeat but practical cars and a relentless focus on understanding its own customers.
The scrappy brand enjoyed a 93-month sales increase streak that ended in 2019, and it has found ways to survive during the coronavirus pandemic. But it is not without challenges. The intense demand for its vehicles has at times brought growing pains — quality issues and recalls gave led to an unusual quarterly loss in 2018.
There is also pressure on the company, like all automakers, to develop some kind of electrification strategy. Subaru does have a partnership with the much larger Japanese automaker Toyota, which is expected to soon produce an electric vehicle jointly made by the two companies.
Along with the pandemic, big tire brands are facing unique challenges. While trends have increasingly shifted online due to Covid, the tire market has been more hesitant to growing its e-commerce presence. Trade tariffs and the growing popularity of SUV’s and electric vehicles are also driving up the price of tires, posing an issue with attracting focus-savings consumers. Existing in a competitive market, many of the world’s biggest tire brands are focused on standing out to customers.
Hudson’s step-down cars for 1948 marked a new direction for the company, as it had a partially unitary design, with the floor pan on the bottom of the frame rather than on the top, resulting in one literally stepping down to enter a Hudson. There was an all-new six-cylinder engine, but the legacy straight eight, which had been continually updated since its introduction in the 1930s, was also carried over. Its low center of gravity made for excellent handling, for which step-downs are still revered.
The new cars bowed on December 7, 1947. “You’re face to face with tomorrow,” said the ads, and “this time it’s Hudson.” Both dealers and the public were elated. The roof was low, but there was still plenty of room inside. Sales jumped nearly 50 percent over 1947, and Hudson rose from 13th to 11th place in the market.
Incremental internal improvements were made to the engines for 1949, and for 1950 the grilles and taillights were updated. Genuine leather was used on convertible interiors, and an electro-hydraulic power top and windows were standard.
Jaguar Classic will be creating a limited number of new hand-built examples of the ultimate 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning C-Type for the first time with fully- authentic new disc-brakes. Eight new C-Type Continuation cars will be built ahead of a racing-inspired celebration event for their owners in 2022.
Building from their experience with the Lightweight E-Type, XKSS and D-Type continuations, Jaguar Classic engineers have consulted Jaguar’s archives and cross-referenced scan data taken from an original C-Type in conjunction with the latest computer aided design technology to create the most authentic car possible.