Breakthrough cars: Automakers kept delivering despite COVID, chip shortage, war

Problems on top of problems have complicated life for automakers and retailers. The great COVID-19 pandemic overturned business plans in early 2020, sent work forces and suppliers fleeing to safety for a year, overturned semiconductor sourcing plans for two years, delayed vehicle development programs and market launches, and resulted in scrambled inventory plans and an industrywide uncertainty about how many vehicles factories might actually be expected to deliver.

And yet life goes on.

Through all this — despite it all — automakers have delivered a wave of products to showrooms since last fall. Significant products, most of them. Big-volume products,