As the election approaches, Germany’s carmakers will face the same challenges as its new leaders: a need to innovate, tackle climate change and reassess its trade relationship with China. How this world-renowned motor industry navigates the road ahead could tell a lot about Germany’s future.
In 2021, the average age of vehicles on the road reached a record 12.1 years. Every driver that chooses to hold on to a car for another year is postponing a trip to the dealership, and some industry analysts wonder if rising vehicle ages and prices indicate trouble for new car sales in the future. Automakers are stuffing cars with new technology and improvements but will that be enough to keep buyers wanting the latest and greatest?
This 286 SP claims extreme rarity in the Ferrari lineage as one of just six SP racers originally built and one of only two examples originally equipped with the developmental Maranello eight-cylinder engine. Boasting associations with legendary drivers like Lorenzo Bandini, Harry Heuer, Olivier Gendebien, and Ricardo Rodriguez, chassis 0798 was an integral part of Ferrari’s sports prototype development and racing campaign, and it laid the foundational groundwork for the famed Ferrari P cars. It is also no doubt a cornerstone of the 1964 SCCA D Modified Championship. As such, 0798 has been extensively chronicled and photographed in numerous books and articles, including significant coverage in John Godfrey’s authoritative 1990 volume Ferrari Dino SPs as well as a multi-part feature in Cavallino.
Porsche 911 – the world’s most successful sports car. Its rear-mounted boxer engine and classic styling are unmistakable. It combines sportiness and everyday functionality like no other vehicle. A street-legal race car. For almost 70 years the 911 has stood for sportiness, elegance and quality. The latest version, the Porsche 992, is equipped with almost 400 hp in the basic version and costs almost a quarter of a million euros. In this documentary, racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck takes you through the world of what is perhaps the most famous sports car.
Rising in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, the convertible car is an automotive American icon. It was a vehicle meant for leisure and fun. Some of the most iconic models throughout history were convertibles, such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang. However, in the last few years, convertibles have been slowly declining in popularity. Along with rising prices, American car buyers, especially those with children, value practicality and functionality over looks and leisure, leading their interest towards SUV’s and midsize sedans. In 2021, convertibles make up only 0.46% of new car sales. Can the iconic design stand the test of time?
Feel the freedom. the 1969 Renault 4 Plein Air, a roofless, doorless car for a liberating driving experience happy 60th anniversary to Renault 4.
The Plein Air was introduced in the spring of 1968. Plein Airs were converted by Renault group company Sinpar S.A. from regular 4 speed R1123’s produced by Renault. A R1123 selected for conversion entered Sinpar’s premises as a complete R4 Berline to undergo a complete make-over and leave without doors and roof to be delivered to clients who had ordered their Plein Air from one of Renault’s dealers worl-wide. Plein Airs were actually sold and delivered into France, Canada, United States, Mexico, Finland, Germany, UK and the Netherlands. In 1968 approx. 20 Plein Airs were exported to Canada to be used on the site of the 1968 Terre des Hommes World Exhibition in Montreal. Approximately 500 Plein Airs were produced by Sinpar until 1971, when it was succeeded by the R4 ACL Rodeo. After 1971 Renault continued to offer Plein Air conversion kits for self-made plein airs, but little is known about their number.
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.
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.
Fully autonomous cars are the future of transportation. And car makers have been releasing what they believe that future will look like one day. Here is a compilation of some of those visionary concepts.
Video timeline: 00:00 Honda Augmented Driving Concept 00:23 Toyota Concept-I 00:52 Audi Aicon 01:28 Volvo 360C 02:22 Jaguar Future-Type 03:15 Jaguar I Waymo I-Pace 03:45 Zoox 04:28 Nissan Intelligent Mobility 05:27 BMW Next Vision 100 06:09 Mercedes F 015 08:46 Renault EZ-Ultimo 09:37 Renault Float 11:00 Volkswagen Sedric 12:09 Nio Eve 13:16 Hyundai Project Elevate 14:00 Chrysler Portal Concept 16:36 Tesla Full Self Driving Demo 18:28 GM eVTOL