, 2022-12-26 23:06:58,
The revolutionary A2 and i3 should have paved the way for more clever, lightweight cars, but didn’t
Where have all the clever cars gone? I fear this is a rhetorical question, at least for the next decade or so. We’ve heard the excuses before, but in the aftermath of Covid and Brexit, and while dealing with the fallout from the war in Ukraine and semi-conductor shortages, car firms are also being expected to pivot into electric. Technology they’re only just starting to understand, that’s requiring vast investment in everything from procurement to production. So the last thing any firm is going to do right now is take a risk. They need return.
And clever cars don’t sell. God it pains me to have to write that. Over the seven years it was on sale (1999-2006), just 176,000 A2s were sold. In the year it went off sale Audi sold more A3s – significantly more – than the A2 achieved in its whole life. The losses, estimated at 7530 euros per car, were considerable – 1.33 billion euros. Back in 2013 the Economist ran an article titled ‘Zoom, sputter, aagghhh!!’ that detailed the most loss making cars. It’s full of clever risk-takers: Smart ForTwo, Peugeot 1007, Mercedes A-Class – although to digress for a second, perhaps the biggest revelation surrounds the Bugatti Veyron. It was famously the first ever €1 million hypercar, but if Bugatti wanted to make any money on it, they should’ve charged…
To read the original article from news.google.com, click here