Over the past century, hundreds of once-familiar brand names have been shipped off to the automotive scrapyard, but two long-dead makes will be vying for a revival next month at the annual Geneva International Motor Show.
To find a place in a rapidly evolving auto industry, British-based Lagonda and Spain's Hispano Suiza are looking forward into the past, blending heritage with futuristic technology, including all-electric drivetrains. The emergence of electrified powertrains and autonomous driving, experts suggest, could open the door not only to new players like Tesla, but provide an opportunity to bring back some old brands.
Battery technology "isn't ready for the mainstream, but the luxury market is a different matter," said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "With luxury vehicles, the cost of batteries isn't a big deal," but the potential benefits, including extreme levels of performance, can provide an appealing alternative to conventional gas-powered models.