2019 has seen a lot of change in the Auto Industry – from climate protests at motor shows to the rise of electric vehicles. This week, we’re focusing on some of the most positive stories from the past year to welcome you into 2020 with a smile. 

Airstream Revives its Classic Styles 

If Airstream trailers bring back nostalgic memories of summer camping trips, there’s good news: the company is bringing back its classic single axle Bambi and Caravel trailers. Originally designed in the 1960s, the newly refreshed trailers have the classic riveted aluminum Airstream look paired with modern amenities – like a built-in microwave, stereo and memory foam mattress. Both models are set up to be connected to solar panels for off-grid possibilities. 

As reported in Forbes this past summer, Bob Wheeler, President and CEO of Airstream, said: “With the all-new Bambi and Caravel models, we wanted to honor our roots while offering design-forward, accessible, easy-to-tow travel trailers that will inspire new or experienced consumers to explore the world one highway at a time.” 

Jaguar I-Pace Wins Car of the Year 

The Jaguar i-Pace was announced as World Car of the Year at New York’s International Auto Show this past April. The car beat out two other finalists – the Volvo S60 and the Audi e-Tron – to claim the top spot.  

The electric vehicle was chosen by a panel of 86 independent judges, who praised the Jag for its good looks both inside and out, as well as its environmentally friendly credentials. In a triple win, the car also took home the World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car awards. It was also named European Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show back in March. As reported by Ars Technica, Ian Callum Head of Design at Jaguar said  “Electrification’s given us the option to do something quite unique and quite different. And I think it’s something people like.”  

College Students Earn Course Credits for Riding Harleys 

It’s a dream come true for any bike enthusiast – the chance to earn college course credits in exchange for hopping on a hog. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee joined up with Harley Davidson this year to offer a course in riding its 500 model bikes. Students must have a license before joining the course and will leave with an elective credit and MSF completion card, that can be exchanged for a motorbike riding endorsement in many states. 

Why start in Wisconsin? Milwaukee is the home of Harley Davidson, and the iconic bikes have been built in the city since 1903.  

Celebrating Women in the Auto Industry 

One of the highlights of this year’s NADA Show in Las Vegas was the awarding of prizes in the second annual #WomeninAutomotive video contest. As with the inaugural edition in 2018, the entries highlighted the variety of jobs that women do in the auto industry, and the many different pathways women have taken to reach their current role –  from studying for a masters in teaching to walking into a dealership and finding a connection with the employees.  

Nine runners up won a $500 gift card, while the grand prize winner – Certified Service Technician Lisa Kowite of Johnson Lexus of Durham, North Carolina – won a $1,000 gift card and free admittance to the NADA Professional Series to supercharge her auto career.  

See all the entries here 

Flying Cars are the Future 

Among all the talk of self-driving cars, Porsche and airplane maker Boeing are going one better. As Tech Crunch reported, the companies have partnered up to work together on the idea of ‘premium’ electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. Although the partnership is in its early stages, the companies could end up working on a flying prototype. Porsche’s consulting group found that urban air transportation is likely to increase in the next decade, so it looks like they’re getting in ahead of the game.