Since Henry Ford revolutionised automobile production in the early 20th century, the automotive sector has come a really long way. Over the years, a lot of new trends have been observed in both the luxury car and the regular consumer car niche.
With the rampant digitisation of the modern world, the automotive industry too has felt its effects. Moreover, with the emergence of the pandemic during 2020 and 2021, the shift towards digitization has only accelerated. Thus, if you are a manufacturer, then there are certain trends you need to watch out for to ensure a profitable business.
Here are 5 top predictions for the automotive industry in the year 2022:
Automation of Production:
Electric cars and smart cars are nothing new, as complete assembly line automation is also becoming the norm. Many major manufacturers have opted for automation in a lot of departments, leading to a major boom in production rates. However, as time goes on, it is also vital for these companies to integrate the latest technologies in their vehicles to appeal to the younger demographic.
To achieve this, more and more manufacturers will join hands with major tech firms to add more software features and upgrade operating systems. A lot of optimization can be expected in the production phase too, such as the widespread emergence of conveyor belts, both gravity driven conveyor belts and their more automated counterparts, in the assembly line. This automated conveyor system will also come in handy to transport car spare parts between nearby facilities.
Switch to Smarter/EV Cars:
Emergence of companies like Tesla has proven that electric vehicles are not only viable, but might even replace traditional cars in the coming decades. Moreover, a general awareness regarding environmental issues has also impacted the sales trends in the automotive sector.
Many major manufacturers such as General Motor and Volkswagen have pledged to release more hybrid and electric vehicles in the market in the coming decade. One bold prediction states that these green cars will outcompete the traditional cars in sales by the year 2030. Whether this prediction hits its mark or not, it is irrefutable that governments around the world are already investing in more charging stations or are mulling over it at the very least.
Massive Boost in E-Commerce Sales:
In the past few years, there was a noticeable rise in sales of automobiles online. Many e-commerce websites and similar affiliates began selling vehicles online, offering a hassle-free option for consumers. Due to this trend, there has been a steady decline in car dealerships around the world, which has been a major source of sales revenue for most manufacturers in the past. When the pandemic hit in 2020, almost all manner of goods and services shifted online to facilitate the unique circumstances.
The automotive sector too went the same route, with an even greater spike in online sales. Thanks to features like virtual tours and test driving at home, the need for the physical presence of the consumer has diminished. With this revelation, more and more dealerships will switch to the digital medium, further reducing the market for conventional dealerships.
Increase In Subscription Based Ownership:
Just like real estate, the younger generations are not too keen on owning a car. Due to inflation, student debts and the emergence of newer technology such as electric vehicles, conventional internal combustion cars are becoming a less valuable investment. Rather than owning a vehicle with depreciating returns, many consumers now opt for a short term subscription to a particular car. In this way, a single car can be owned by multiple people for a short duration of time.
Moreover, this subscription model lets them afford a vehicle at a much lower price. They can also enjoy premium and even luxurious cars thanks to this system. Another advantage of switching to subscription-based usership is the lack of maintenance cost, which most car owners have to bear at one point or the other. Thus, this trend will see a significant rise in the near future.
More Cars With Extra Features:
Thanks to companies like Tesla, a car has become a lot more than just a transportation mechanism. It has also become a means of entertainment for many, including features like streaming video mode and Wi-Fi access even when the car is driving. Taking a cue from such companies, many automotive manufacturers are introducing wellness and entertainment features in their cars. One such feature is the emergence of massage seats, which not only provide comfort but also pamper the driver and passengers
. Another aspect is air purification, for some smart cars have excellent filtration systems, making the air inside the vehicle far better than the external environment. Other common features like self-driving and collision prediction are becoming mainstream. Hence, to capture the markets, vehicle manufacturers will look to outcompete each other by adding more utilitarian and extravagant features to their products.
In conclusion, one can expect to see these trends emerge more significantly in 2022, and will only become more widespread in the coming years. So if you are entering this industry, then it’s important to keep these changes in mind to stay ahead of the curve.
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works as a brand consultant and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write about marketing, finance & tech. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.