We Predict: 10 Stories We Plan To Write In 2022
How to succeed in a year like 2021? Well, maybe we would have said the same thing a year ago, when COVID-19 led to nationwide lockdowns, a three-month shutdown of auto manufacturing in North America and what appeared to be the start of another severe recession.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen what looked like a record auto industry rebound fade away due to semiconductor shortages, which has resulted in new car prices rising to a record high. We have also seen sales of electric vehicles finally show some serious momentum.
So what can we expect in 2022? That’s the question we asked the editorial team at TheDetroitBureau.com and here are the 10 articles they think will make headlines over the coming year.
The year of EV, Part Duh
2021 was a difficult year, but the increase in demand for battery-electric vehicles was a major development – sales more than doubled by the middle of the year. We expect this upward trend to really accelerate in 2022. The formula is falling into place, starting with a nearly four-fold increase in long-range products on the market. And the Biden administration is set to begin rolling out a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations. The Big Uncertainty: A proposed increase in federal selling incentives could determine how quickly sales accelerate. For now, however, he’s stuck in Congress. (Paul A. Eisenstein)
Shortages will drag on and consumers will pay the price
As 2021 draws to a close, global auto production fell by 8 million vehicles from initial plans due to the semiconductor shortage. Automakers are finding more and more chips that are essential to every modern vehicle. But it is far from certain that the crisis is over. Meanwhile, the industry faces a number of other potential shortages, ranging from rubber and foams to raw materials for electric vehicle batteries. For consumers, the shortage of crisps translated into empty dealer lots and record prices last year. Expect choices to remain limited in 2022, with no signs that prices will feel the effects of gravity. (Paul A. Eisenstein)
The semiconductor shortage has underscored the United States’ dependence on foreign sources for everything from chips to raw materials. And this is proving particularly worrying as the industry shifts from internal combustion to battery power. Manufacturers are rushing to find local sources of critical elements like lithium, cobalt and nickel, with General Motors promising to source North America for virtually everything it will need for its battery-drive technology. Ultium. But it could take time, and difficult geopolitics – especially between the United States and China – could cause problems in the short term. (Paul A. Eisenstein)
Biden’s year of living dangerously
Energy will continue to challenge President Joe Biden as he oversees the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles. On the one hand, it is under pressure to keep gasoline prices low, which could push to increase domestic oil production. On the other hand, it is pushing hard for the transition to electric vehicles, reducing the demand for gasoline. However, perhaps the biggest challenge for the president will be Congress, where his Build Back Better bill – including new incentives for electric vehicles and broader efforts to tackle climate change – has stalled. . Biden also needs to overcome fears that the switch to electric vehicles could cost jobs in the United States. (Joseph Szczesny)
Tesla is the clear leader in electric vehicles. But, as he grows older, his potential problems also increase. The now Texas-based company has new factories near Austin and Berlin that could double their capacity – if it can avoid past production and quality issues. Its much talked about new generation batteries are retarded, as are products like Cybertruck and Roadster; its relationship with the Chinese government has deteriorated due to privacy concerns over the cameras the company uses on its vehicles. And Tesla continues to be the target of ongoing investigations by US security regulators. Are there any issues ahead? (Michael Strong)
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. When you run the world’s most valuable auto company – Tesla now has a market cap of $ 1,000 billion – that’s a great crown. CEO Elon Musk has struggled with competitors and government agencies before. While there doesn’t seem to be any surrender in him, does there come a time when his chronic friction with governments and some investors while he was in charge of Tesla, as well as SpaceX and The Boring Co., comes to fruition? at a breaking point? Not likely, but how much too much weighs on the minds of some. (Michael Strong)
Startups: the good, the bad and the ugly
The auto industry has been a largely closed club since World War II, at least for startups. But the electric vehicle revolution has opened the door and many companies are looking to replicate Tesla’s success. However, the challenges are intense, starting with the need to raise capital. But several budding manufacturers have now clashed with regulators. Nikola recently paid a fine of $ 125 million to end an SEC investigation and it is far from clear that Lordstown Motors can survive its failure. The valuations of some startups, such as Lucid and Rivian, are astronomical, but could that collapse this coming year? (Larry Printz)
VAs face a critical test
Autonomous vehicles still hold great promise in curbing the epidemic of road deaths across the world. But developing the artificial intelligence needed for a vehicle to operate autonomously in city traffic and on high-speed highways is a challenge no one has yet mastered despite the billions invested in technology. 2022 could prove to be a critical year as GM and Mercedes-Benz prepare to bring the first true Level 3 hands-free technology to the consumer market, while companies like Cruise, Waymo and others focus on the carpooling and commercial fleets. (Joseph Szczesny)
The past 18 months have accelerated two industry-wide changes in automotive retailing. The pandemic has convinced millions of people to buy vehicles the same way they do almost everything else: online. Not having the opportunity to meet in person during COVID lockdowns, automakers and dealers have figured out how to make the internet their friend. In the future, expect many more shoppers to change all or part of the online shopping process. Meanwhile, as dealer inventories near record lows, impulse-motivated U.S. buyers are being urged to order their vehicles and wait. Will they accompany? The jury is out. (Michael Strong)
China still wants to come in – but another communist country might come first
Yes, a handful of products made in China, like the Buick Envision and the Polestar 2, can be found in American showrooms. But the long-awaited arrival of domestic Chinese brands like Geely and Great Wall has been hampered by the Trump administration, COVID and other issues. With the relationship between the two superpowers still entangled, it’s unclear whether the door will open soon. Ironically, Vietnam is set to launch its first entry into the United States at the end of 2022, with VinFast promising to deliver two battery-powered electric SUVs. (Larry Printz)