As 2018 unfolds, the current automotive industry trends will set up a stage for more innovations and financing from the industry stakeholders. Catching up on these six trends will allow you to define a strategy for your automotive business in 2018.
Revolutionizing every step in automobile production including design, operation, and servicing, the cloud technology enables many processes to be scaled down and simplified, eliminating the waste and reducing costs. And while the design and engineering activities are sliding towards cloud integration, the cloud-based dealer management system is expected to successfully manage all the post-manufacturing business processes more easily and efficiently, reducing the operational and inventory cost.
Car sharing as a response to emissions
Industry experts agree that emotional attachment to cars has decreased significantly over the past few years. This trend explains the rise of another trend – car sharing, which is becoming popular even in emerging markets of Asian Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. It’s actually estimated that by 2030, one out of every ten cars sold will be a shared vehicle. The trend is a direct response to increased prices of fuel but also to increased awareness for carbon emissions. The concept of car sharing is expected to influence the car design philosophy, with more customization towards multi-passenger comfort and riding experience.
V2V technology allows vehicles on a road to share data on speed, road conditions and other information through an instantly generated network created among vehicles. By ‘talking to each other’, cars can help drivers evade crashes, avoid traffic congestion and reduce the emissions. V2X technology (vehicle-to-everything) takes the concept one step further, making it possible for vehicles to communicate with smart traffic signals and even conduct wireless transactions at petrol stations. It’s estimated that by 2023, all new cars will be delivered with a V2V pack on-board, with V2X following shortly after.
Crossovers hit the sweet spot
A crossbreed between regular sedans and SUVs, crossovers are selling like hotcakes because they are more affordable to buy, more efficient, and cheaper to run than full-size SUVs. However, they still retain all the positive characteristic such as raised clearance and high driving position – a desirable feature in urban congestions as well. Apart from being one of the most practical ways to commute without compromising on comfort and style, a small SUV can also handle longer tours and road trips with ease. With manufacturers like Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Peugeot and Seat launching new models, the crossover niche is definitely going to bring significant experimentation and investment, along with breakthroughs on new markets for these compact and sturdy cars.
Baby boomers favor large SUVs
Although almost every market segment recognizes the millennials as the most important customer pool, when it comes to automotive industry, baby boomers still lead the way. To the generation that is nearing retirement, the ability to travel safely and comfortably on their own is an important requirement when looking for a car. Large SUVs provide the much-needed comfort and ease of driving even on less than ideal roads and difficult terrains. Their five-door configuration and a large boot, paired with leather seats and high-end audio systems appeal to the senior generation. However, the latest SUVs have much better fuel economy than the fuel-guzzlers of their youth.
Innovative key fobs
With premium manufacturers leading the way, we’re bound to see less boring key designs. And while some companies stick to basic switchblade fobs, BMW’s futuristic-looking smart-key features a 2.2” touchscreen which displays the vehicle service information and A/C settings. Ideal for active owners who don’t like carrying the key around, Jaguar’s new F-Pace Activity Key bracelet is completely waterproof. The solid metal shield key of Swedish supercar series Koenigsegg doesn’t have any fancy features but looks like something a legendary hero would carry into a battle. Another Swedish manufacturer, Volvo, is testing a completely keyless approach, where a smartphone app takes over every function of a car key and some more.
Since the first cars rolled out in the eve of the 20th century, one thing has been constant – the automotive industry possesses a vast capacity for change. Nowadays, the industry is in the odd position of being both in a decline and standing at the brink of potentially extremely profitable developments. Given the widespread digitalization, increasing automation and new business models, there’s no integrated view on how the industry will look in 10 years, but the trends listed here do their best in pointing the way.