The Coronavirus pandemic is having a dismal effect on many industries. One of the biggest sufferers is the automotive segment. With 80% of the auto supply chain connected to China, many launches have been delayed.
Even though some countries, including China, are already seeing light at the end of the tunnel, it’s still a long road to recovery. If you were planning to buy a new car in 2020, your choices could be somewhat limited.
Let’s take a close look at which vehicle launches have been postponed due to COVID-19.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular all over the world. That’s why the launch of Rivian’s R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV was highly anticipated. The manufacturer announced two models at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and planned to have them out by late 2020.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced Rivian to adjust the schedule. Now, we are expecting both models to appear in 2021.
Rivian was rebuilding a former Mitsubishi plant in Illinois when the virus hit. The company had to send workers home to comply with stay-at-home orders. The company continues paying full wages to employees during the temporary shutdown.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Even the toughest car giants in the world are suffering the consequences of the outbreak. GM recently announced that they are delaying the release of the refreshed Bolt EV until 2021. It will come out as a 2022 model.
Initially, General Motors was planning to shut down for one week in March. However, as the virus continued to spread in the United States, the company expanded the suspension.
“When we can safely resume production, we will”, said Megan Soule, a spokesperson for GM.
Meanwhile, the company assured electric car fans that the release of Bolt EUV will happen on schedule. The new Bolt EUV was unveiled at GM’s “EV Day” at the beginning of March. The launch is planned for the summer of 2021.
Cadillac Lyriq (Reveal and Production)
Cadillac’s first all-electric crossover was expected to debut during a special event in Los Angeles on April 2. However, the brand canceled Lyriq‘s reveal due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Right now, the manufacturer is discussing new reveal dates as well as changes to the production schedule. The decision to cancel the debut had a negative effect on General Motor’s shares.
The outbreak disrupted many major automotive industry events, including the Beijing Motor Show, Geneva Motor Show, New York Motor Show, and Paris Motor Show.
The launch of the production version of the Lucid Air electric car is delayed by the manufacturer. Lucid’s plans for the 2020 launch were initially optimistic. Now with the coronavirus shutting down plants all over the world, the manufacturer is changing the timeline.
After announcing the new model in 2017, the company had problems raising the capital to start the construction of a plant. In 2018, a Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia signed an investment agreement with the Lucid, providing $1 billion.
In 2019, the company made substantial progress with the production version of their vehicle while building a factory in Arizona. It wanted to unveil Lucid Air at the New York Auto Show in April. However, the show was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
While Tesla hasn’t announced any plans for delaying the release of its coveted Cybertruck model, experts believe that it’s inevitable.
The company was trying to follow a rigid timeline for releasing the new car. It was revealed in November 2019 at Tesla’s design studio in California. Since then, the number of pre-orders passed the 600,000 mark. The company promises to deliver the vehicle in late 2021.
However, with the problems faced by the world today, maintaining the deadline could be tough. With many OEMs shutting down factories and stopping their production, Tesla’s work may be affected. On March 20, the company announced that it’s closing the plant in Fremont, California.
GM’s Redesigned SUVs
General Motors announced that the company would be postponing work on several future models to cut losses during the coronavirus pandemic. It also planning to delay large SUV launches, which were expected to happen in late April.
The company is currently debating whether to reopen plants on a week-by-week basis. It’s likely to postpone the production of redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban in its Arlington, Texas plant.
GM’s Vehicle Updates
According to the information confirmed by Reuters, GM is planning to delay updates for the following vehicles:
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Silverado 1500
- GMC Terrain
- Sierra 1500
- Cadillac XT4
All these vehicles are now scheduled to appear in 2021. Some of them will be marked as 2022 models.
Severe Effects of Coronavirus on the U.S. Automotive Industry
As April rolled around, 93% of all U.S. auto production shut down. The leading companies on the market closed their plants, including:
- Ford – shut down all North American and European production on March 19. It’s hoping to re-open in late April. One of its U.S. facilities will start ventilator production on April 20.
- General Motors – total suspension of North American production was announced on March 18. So far, GM hasn’t said anything about resuming their work. Just like Ford, the company is building ventilators at two of its U.S. facilities.
- Fiat Chrysler – the company joined the above industry leaders on March 18, suspending all its North American operations. The company is planning to resume work on May 4. Its Italian plants could be reopening as early as April 14.
While the majority of automotive plants all over the world are currently closed, many are planning to reopen within the coming weeks.
Business Almost as Usual: Doorstep Delivery
Even though some of the new vehicle launches are delayed, many companies are still selling cars successfully. Automakers are ready to bring their business to the client’s doorstep. You can make a call and have the car delivered to your home.
Car delivery is available from such automotive giants as Audi, Fiat Chrysler, Ford/Lincoln, General Motors, Honda/Acura, Infinity, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Porsche, Toyota/Lexus, and Subaru.