The long-awaited reveal of the 2021 Ford Bronco was supposed to have happened now. The long-anticipated Rivian EV pickup was supposed to be available by Fall. Production of the all-new Chevy Suburban was to have been in full swing. All of these examples and more are on hold because of you know what. Yes, the coronavirus. What is happening is unprecedented. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. There is no playbook for having everything shut down. The Depression? No, dealers were open and cars were being manufactured. WWII? Nope, the invasion of Poland in 1939 meant the US would have to get involved in stopping Hitler. It was expected there would be some US involvement by 1942. Pearl Harbor just moved it up a bit.
Everyone waits, plans are on hold, and March sales were down 40%
There is nothing car companies-any companies really, can look to for how to deal with the pandemic shutdown. So, everyone waits. Plans are on hold. US vehicle sales were down 40% last month. This month? Forget about it. Is anyone really thinking about buying a Mustang Mach E right now? We’d all be happy with a hot dog at a high school football game.
But there are literally billions of dollars tied up in new vehicle launches that aren’t launching. These days it takes about $1 billion to create an all-new model. And there were plenty of them set to debut this year-most as 2021 models.
Here’s a list of the vehicles that were to be revealed and/or available in 2020. It is anybody’s guess when new dates will be determined.
Land Rover Defender
Its reveal was at the 2019 LA Auto Show, so at least we know what it will look like. As of right now, it is still scheduled to be released by the end of spring. If assembly lines can be cranked back up in May that might still happen. Otherwise, we’re probably looking at a late-summer release.
Based on internet searches this is considered the biggest reveal for 2020. Actually it is two releases because there’s the regular Bronco and also the crossover Bronco Sport. While both were to have been revealed by now Ford has been mum about a new reveal date.
Kia squeaked the Seltos into showrooms in February just as the coronavirus was taking hold in the US. With factories in South Korea where the Seltos is made still humming, there should be some supply available once showrooms open back up. But how long those supplies can last before shipments begin we won’t know until it happens.
Aston Martin DBX
We’ve posted about Aston Martin’s troubles and the coronavirus has deepened concerns for the brand’s survival. It was already facing major problems with working capital draining. The DBX SUV was supposed to be Aston Martin’s salvation. Unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show we don’t know how far Aston Martin got into manufacturing the DBX before production stopped in the UK. Aston Martin has told Automotive News that the DBX is still planned for launch later this year.
Mercedes Maybach GLS 600
The Mercedes flagship SUV will be competing directly with the top-tier SUVs from Bentley and Rolls-Royce. It was going to hit our shores this summer. Now that manufacturing at all of Mercedes’ plants has been shut down it is unclear if it will make the original summer timeline or not.
Tesla Model Y
Tesla’s compact SUV began production before it shut down its California assembly plant. A few Model Y’s were sold but not a lot. Have you seen any traveling on nearby roads?
Rivian EV Pickup
Just this week Rivian announced that the production of its much-anticipated pickup and SUV has been postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic. It had an expected production of about 10,000 this year.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Another all-new vehicle revealed in November, development is still ongoing in Dearborn. Quite a few have been photographed in and around Dearborn still undergoing testing. Ford said its run of Mach-Es for 2020 was sold out from pre-orders. Now it is uncertain how many of those orders will be filled after production starts back up.
Only a concept of the EV sedan has been revealed so far. The development of the production version is moving along with plans still holding to begin selling them towards the end of 2021.
Porsche 911 Turbo S
Since manufacturing at all Porsche manufacturing plants has been shut down since March 21 it is unknown how many of the Turbo S cars were produced. No plans for resuming production have been announced.
The Ferrari Roma debuted in November. Plans were for it to arrive in dealerships by the end of the year. Porsche is saying that it plans on meeting that goal by adding more shifts at its assembly line.
McLaren says it is continuing the planning and engineering of the Elva. It expects to meet its Q4 2020 release to dealers.
Evija development is ongoing remotely just like the rest of us. Only 130 are planned to be built, priced at $2.1 million.