The Automotive Moments That Defined 2020
Taking a look back at some of the most important automotive moments in 2020
It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a crazy year. From the still out of control Covid-19 Pandemic, to raging forest fires across the world, and calls for racial justice and equality, this has been a year like no other. Throughout these last 12 months, the automotive world has continuously been at the center of attention for for many reasons. The following is a list of some of the most important and influential.
January 2020: Carlos Ghosn
Former Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi CEO, and current fugitive Carlos Ghosn
The story of Carlos Ghosn seems more like the plot out of the next Mission Impossible Movie, than a true story. The Brazilian born buisnessman and successful CEO of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi has been in the spotlight for a couple years now after he was arrested for "financial improprieties and alleged self-dealings" back in 2018. However in early 2020 the full story came out. After his arrest, he was fired from his position at Nissan. While held under house arrest in Japan, Ghosn hosted an event at his Tokyo residence. With the event as a cover, Ghosn hired a band of mercenaries disguised as musicians to smuggle him out of Japan in an instrument case. He was then flown to Lebanon where he currently resides. In January of 2020, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) put out an arrest warrant for Ghosn. Since then the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance's sales have decreased significantly.
March 2020: Car dealerships close due to rising Covid-19 cases
A closed GM dealership in Detroit
As Covid case numbers across the world began to rapidly rise, many businesses where forced to close down in order to limit the transmission of the virus. Lockdowns were imposed, and like most other businesses, car dealerships had to temporarily shut down. Car sails plummeted. Later, when dealerships were allowed to reopen, test drives took place masked or alone, and sales began to rise once more.
April 2020: Car manufacturers dedicate their resources to the fight against the virus
As Covid cases rose, many automakers shut down their production. However, with empty space in factories, and the right equipment, many manufacturers began to redirect their resources to building the much needed ventilators for Covid patients. Companies such as Ford, GM, Tesla, and even Ferrari worked to provide ventilators and masks for their respective countries.
Summer 2020: F1, NASCAR work to fight racism and inequalities in motorsport
Mercedes AMG dawned a black livery in the 2020 F1 season
Aside from Covid-19, one of the other big themes of 2020 was the fight for racial justice. The movement sweapt across the world and many sports including NASCAR and Formula 1 worked to spread awareness. F1 team Mercedes AMG painted their usual silver car, nicknamed the "silver arrow" black, and the FIA created the spread "We Race as One". 7 time world champion Lewis Hamilton showed respect and passion to the cause on and off track, attending marches, and taking a knee before each race. In NASCAR, similar moves were made, with driver Bubba Wallace helping to spread the message, as Hamilton was in F1.
June 2020: Tesla Becomes the most valuable car company in the world
Tesla Model 3
In the early summer of 2020, Tesla's shares hit over $1,000 (£734). This made the electric car manufacturer worth more than Ford, GM, and FCA combined. Considering the fact that Tesla is just about 15 years old, and electric cars are reletively new to the market, their is no denying this is an impressive feat.
November 2020: Lewis Hamilton ties Michael Schumacher to become 7 time F1 world champion
Lewis Hamilton after winning the Turkish Grand Prix
After a grueling race at the Turkish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton officially took home the 2020 F1 world championship for his 7th time, a feat no other driver besides the great Michael Schumacher has achieved. He was gifted one of Michael's helmets by Mick Schumacher who will be racing with Haas for the first time in 2021. It was recently announced that Lewis Hamilton is set to be knighted.