A roundup of all the big news from the weekend.
Happy Independence Day, and welcome to Cold Start. This is the fourth installment in our series of roundup stories, and as it falls on a Monday, we're bringing you a selection of the biggest stories from the weekend. There's a lot more to unpack than usual, so let's get started.
First, we look back on a horrific crash at yesterday's British Grand Prix before examining the potential fall of the electric market. Thereafter, we've got worrying news about Aston Martin (again), and we say goodbye to one electric BMW while welcoming the arrival of another. In closing, we look at the future of the Chrysler 300 and what it needs to become.
On the very first corner of the first lap of yesterday's British Grand Prix, chaos ensued after Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu was clipped by Mercedes-AMG's George Russell. The Alfa Romeo spun around and flipped over, with the halo safety structure around the cockpit saving the driver from almost certain death. But that wasn't all. The car continued to careen forward, belly-up, into the gravel trap, where it finally bit down and flipped over the tire barriers into the catch fencing. Thankfully, the car stopped there, and no spectators were hurt. Zhou Guanyu was also unscathed, miraculously. But the drama didn't end there, with environmental protestors storming the track shortly thereafter.
Stellantis has made great efforts to enact a transition to electric vehicles, but like so many other automakers, it sees challenges and drawbacks to the industry's obsession with EVs. According to the conglomerate's chief manufacturing officer, Arnaud Deboeuf, "if EVs don't get cheaper, the market will collapse." His comments come as new EVs from Tesla, Ford, Rivian, and Hummer are continually seeing higher asking prices, a trend that is not sustainable. If EV prices continue to swell to the point that they become unattainable, new EVs will go unsold and the billions that automakers are investing in the technology will be wasted, causing a wholesale market meltdown.
Aston Martin is one of the most iconic British automakers ever, but like so many other auto manufacturers from the nation, financial security is not something that it is known for. Things at Aston Martin have been unstable for a long time, which is why former AMG man Tobias Moers was brought in a couple of years ago. But earlier this year, he abruptly left the position of CEO with no explanation. Perhaps he didn't want to go down with a sinking ship, because a new report claims that the luxury automaker is in dire financial straits and is seeking an investment of almost a quarter of a billion dollars as it aims to invest in the future and stay afloat.
BMW's first-ever electric car to go on sale was the i3 supermini, and although it received a lukewarm reception in global markets, it paved the way for today's EVs. Launched in 2013, the i3 has now reached the end of its life, with the last ever model being produced in Leipzig, Germany last week. At the same time, the BMW i7, Bavaria's latest all-electric creation, has just entered production, heralding a new dawn for electric mobility and luxury. This car is all but guaranteed to be a smash hit, despite its six-figure asking price, but it would never have happened if it were not for the creation of the first i3 all those years ago.
To wrap up, we again must turn our attention to the world of electric vehicles. Ailing brand Chrysler has been on the back foot for some time now, and there's only one way to change that. It needs to create cars with the latest technology and package them in attractive designs. To that end, the Chrysler 300, an attractive but aging sedan, is rumored to be in development as an all-new EV, and there will be a similar sibling with a Dodge badge joining it. Will this be enough to reinvigorate the Chrysler brand, or is it too little too late? Only time will tell, but we hope that the automaker can find its groove.