What an incredible year. From the rise of Tesla to cars that drive themselves, 2015 is certainly a year to remember. As 2015 enters our rear-view mirror, we can’t help but reflect upon the most influential automotive news of 2015.
Self-Driving Cars Are On the Road
In 2015, the self-driving car shifted (no pun intended) from a dream into a functional reality. Multiple companies already have prototype self-driving vehicles on the road. Automakers are racing (again, no pun intended) to create a fully-functional, consumer-ready autonomous vehicle. Companies like Apple and Google are jumping into the automotive world, just to create a self-driving vehicle.
To learn more, read: 5 Things You Should Know About Self-Driving Cars
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Hinders German Giant
After the EPA concluded that Volkswagen has installed a “defeat device” in select VW diesel vehicles this September, headlines exploded. VW eventually admitted that around 11 million vehicles worldwide contain the so-called “defeat device.” Volkswagen’s sales saw an immediate hit. The company is taking steps to correct its mistakes, but chances are the long-term impact will be huge.
Read our initial Volkswagen scandal report to learn more.
The Rise of Tesla Motors Continues
While Tesla Motors isn’t new, the company has taken some impressive strides in 2015. Dominating auto news, Tesla released the Model X, an incredible all-electric SUV. The Model S remains one of the best-selling all-electric vehicles, especially with a new feature called “ludicrous mode,” making the extremely fast car even faster.
To learn more about the Model X, read: The Tesla Model X is the SUV of the Future
Takata Airbag Recall Reaches Ground-Breaking Numbers
Takata, maker of airbags and other automotive safety, found itself in a recall that affected nearly 1 in 7 cars on the road. This makes it the largest automotive recall of all time. The affected airbags explode with so much force that the metal canister blows up, possibly sending shrapnel out into the vehicle, especially into the front passenger’s area. At the time of the recall, at least 100 injuries and at least five deaths worldwide were tied to this malfunction.
Read our first Takata airbag recall report to learn more.
Hyundai Launches ‘Genesis’ as a Luxury Make
Prepare yourself for a brand new make of vehicles. You may have heard of the Hyundai Genesis, but Hyundai is now branching off with its own luxury make, called Genesis. We absolutely can’t wait to see what new vehicles will come under the Genesis nameplate. Hyundai has expressed the desire to release 6 Genesis vehicles as 2016 and 2017 models.
To learn more, read the Hyundai press release.
New Car Sales Reach All-Time High
In 2015, auto sales soared to around 17.5 million in the United States, surpassing the previous record of 17.4 million in 2000. Analysts expect these numbers to rise even higher in 2016. To put things in perspective, compare 2015 sales to a recent low of only 10.4 million in 2009.
Crossovers, Crossover, and more Crossovers
Of the incredibly high auto sales occurring, the small SUV and crossover segment is growing rapidly. Combining the driving character and efficiency of a car with the storage space and flexibility of an SUV, the modern consumer loves these vehicles. In order to meet demand, a variety of all-new vehicles have been created in this segment. Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Chevrolet Trax are a few of the new models born to meet this small SUV/crossover demand.
We’re Finally Back to the Future
When Marty McFly and Doc Brown entered their time machine, they went forward to October 21, 2015. On this day in real life, the internet exploded with discussion of DeLoreans and hoverboards. While this may not seem like automotive news to some, the movie would not have been the same without the DeLorean time machine. If you’re a hard core fan, you can buy your own DeLorean on Carsforsale.com!
The Ford GT is Coming Back, Thankfully
Since it left production in 2006, we’ve missed the Ford GT. In 2015, Ford unveiled an all-new Ford GT that could revolutionize the supercar world. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 producing over 600 hp, we can’t wait to see what this car can do.
Read the Ford press release to look at and drool over the amazing car.