Henry Ford once said of the Model T something along the lines of “any colour you like, so long as it’s black.” I was reminded of that this week with BMW’s concept at CES – it can change its exterior body shade and offers the possibility of changing colours or display on the outside (or indeed inside) of a vehicle. Kindle-like changing shades of grey, so strictly speaking we’re still monochrome. I’m sure Henry would approve, providing the unit cost can be kept down if the tech makes its way to production.

CES – BMW shows iX with changing body surface display via E ink

No big surprises in the 2021 December close market numbers this week. Toyota has been on pole in the US for a while, but amazing to think GM has been top dog since the 1930s. I guess GM managers will stress that they place greater importance on profit than volume and in 2021, it was also difficult to supply the market. Cause for a sake or two in Aichi.

Toyota overtakes GM in 2021 US market

And in the UK, the car market stalled with just a 1% gain in 2021 as the pandemic and supply shortages dented the recovery from 2020’s low. Again, the chips and pandemic crises played havoc with the numbers, but the brand shares make for interesting reading.

UK new car market stalled in 2021

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Electric pickups may well be a hot market segment in 2022. GM has started making the electric Hummer now and Ford is to double F-150 Lightning production to 150,000 units a year.

Ford to double F-150 Lightning production to 150,000 units a year

Following weeks of uncertainty and exhibitors making last-minute decisions to suspend their on-site activity the annual CES show is now underway. We published a series of CES interviews this week with key suppliers showcasing their latest innovations either on the ground in Las Vegas or virtually.

Our CES interviews (in no particular order):

Smart Eye






And Harman on the outlook for 2022

CES is a naturally big show for a consumer electronics giant like Sony, but I was intrigued to see this announcement there: Sony to launch unit to explore EV opportunities

Lesser known Chinese OEM/brand alert (claxon sounds). It was a cracking 2021 for Hongqi with close to 300,000 vehicles delivered in China. FAW’s luxury brand has a lot of new product due in 2022 too, plus brand launches in Japan and elsewhere.

China’s Hongqi goes after German luxury brands

Finally, I do like an acronym. Will VUCA catch on?

Get ready for ‘VUCA’ buzzword

Have a good weekend.

Dave Leggett

Editor, Just Auto