What’s new in cars

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

Ford Motors resurrected the Bronco Sport for 2021 and it is quickly becoming a best-seller.

The automotive industry is emerging from the pandemic with gusto and an increased focus on internet sales.

With interest rates low and tax refunds and stimulus checks making their way into bank accounts, now may be the perfect time for a new car or an upgrade. Rob Brandt of Bill Brandt Ford is currently offering some fun options – Ford Motors resurrected the Bronco Sport for 2021 and released the new Mustang Mach-E.

“We have the new Ford Bronco Sport, it’s a four-door, and it’s a smaller one,” Brandt said. “In the fall, we will have a full-size Bronco, which will have a two-door and a four-door option. We have had a tremendous amount of interest in the full-sized Bronco.”

Brandt noted his dealership has already delivered Mustang Mach-Es to some customers. The new design incorporates traditional Mustang lines with an all-electric engine reminiscent of a Tesla.

“But it’s a Ford, so you can take it to any Ford dealer in the country, and there’s 3500 of us,” said Brandt. “With a Tesla, if something breaks, where do you take it? They don’t have privately owned dealerships; they are owned by the manufacturer.”

Since closures began last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, many car dealerships have turned to online sales to move vehicles, something Tesla had been doing for years. According to www.thecoolist.com, manufacturers like Daimler and Volvo are hoping to transfer a considerable amount of their sales to the internet by 2025.

Other trends in new-car design include technology-friendly features with extras like Wifi hotspots, exterior cameras and sensors, and voice activation.

Autonomous vehicles – or self-driving cars – are also popping up all over the industry. These cars can sense their environment and operate independently. While many people have never driven one, Forbes.com published an article in January hypothesizing 2021 will be the year these robo-cars become mainstream.

“The need for (self-driving cars) is greater than ever,” wrote author Stephen McBride. “A lot of people don’t want to get in a car with a stranger who may have been exposed to COVID. They’d rather get in with a robot that can disinfect itself.”

Bill Brandt Ford is a family-owned company, run by second- and third-generation Brandts. The dealership and service center are located at 8100 Brentwood Blvd., in Brentwood. For more information, call 925-634-3551 or visit www.billbrandtford.com.