A Guide to Four Key Car Trends all Vehicle Lovers Will Enjoy
As a car enthusiast, the rollout of next year’s new models is akin to waking up on Christmas morning. Each year car enthusiast await to see what automakers have cooked up to improve their line of vehicles. Similarly, automakers are constantly looking to make improvements that will attract carbuyers and put their models just a sliver above the competition to grow their sales margins.
This upcoming year will certainly be a line of cars that majorly outshines what you have seen in the past. Below are four car trends that span the majority of automakers and that have the community of car enthusiasts very excited.
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Crossovers are by no means a new trend, yet this year’s models feature crossovers more prominently than ever. In fact, according to Auto Week sales of crossovers have risen by 58% since 2012 and in 2016 over 5.6 million crossovers were sold in the United States. The growth in crossover popularity is not confined to just one brand, but spans across vehicles of every make in the industry.
Crossovers are growing in popularity for many reasons – mainly for their versatility and ability to eat a variety of needs. There are a wide variety of crossover vehicles to meet any needs. Style vary from a small “hatchback” style crossover to larger crossovers that are nearly as spacious as a full SUV while still offering the fuel efficiency many car buyers desire, and many options in between. Several SUV models debuting next year even have the capability to seat seven.
The versatility of crossovers is mainly due to lifestyle needs of the car buyer. Outdoor adventurers may have kayaks or paddle boards they need to transport and yet do not want a full SUV. Young families need room to grow and retired couples get the benefit of the raised seating of an SUV without too much additional space.
Technology is ubiquitous in today’s world. The trend of hyper connectivity continues to grow. However, in the car industry very specific questions arise when discussing the move to make cars even more connected than ever. Many of those rules focus around how to continue to maintain and even increase safety measures while driving.
Currently, the Department of Transportation is putting into motion new regulations that require automakers to ensure all cars are able to communicate with each other digitally within the next three years. The belief is that this technology integration will actually reduce accidents and will lower fatality rates. On the other hand, a hyper connected car draws the issue of the potential for hacking of the cars functionality as well as data from the driver and passengers. The goal is to ensure any data collected meets privacy standards and isn’t used in an inappropriate way.
From your driving habits to monitoring consumer purchase activity while inside the vehicle, it will be interesting to see how the collection and use of big data evolves as the connected car becomes more mainstream.
The Infotainment Center
While the collection of big data may raise some eyebrows, probably the most exciting trend is watching automakers push the line between creating a vehicle to creating an “infotainment” center right in your vehicle. Multiple automakers are banning together to create this infotainment center that will greatly increase the movement for cars to meet its driver’s every technological need. These centers will be able to fully connect to both Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. Pair that with the growing trend for cars to come fully equipped with their own WiFi systems and the possibilities are endless!
Imagine being able to fold your seats down and watch a full movie projected on your windshield that has become a movie theatre style screen, or work directly from your car via WiFi. Passengers can stream unlimited television without using up their data. Additionally, it’s clear that with the rising popularity of voice assistants like Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Google Voice drivers and passengers alike could perform more tasks hands free, again increasing safety in the vehicle. Drivers can speak directly to their voice assistant integrated in the car and that assistant will execute tasks such as sending texts or making calls, routing GPS and even make purchases on behalf of the driver – all without using hands or taking their eyes off the road.
The interior of a car has become more prominent real estate than ever. Drivers are demanding comfort and as we spend more and more time in our vehicles, the interior is no longer simply function, but has become a space for lavish additions and upgrades.
Until now, the interior has remained a pretty solid component. Things like heated seats and leather add value, but the variety and depth of upgrades simply has been small and uneventful in the past. Many trends point towards lofty and major goals for automakers.
One particular topic of discussion that is highly interesting is considering turning the passenger front seat around to face the back. This would make the interior cozier for passengers, almost like a moving living room. This would also open the door to innovative technology integration like swiveling seats and additional screen placements within various parts of the vehicle. Additionally, some popular automakers are overhauling traditional styles to announce completely new models, such as Jeep’s new pickup truck.
The entire goal is to meet customer demand and to “surprise and delight,” with high end additions for those who have the money to highly customize their vehicle to fit their lifestyle. The global affinity to own and maintain a gorgeous, quality vehicle is growing. As business become more consumer centric across the world, innovation in business is a key driver. Like any industry, the auto manufacturers of the world must strive to innovate and to keep up with global demand just like the new Youi NZ CEO.
It will be interesting to see where the latest trends, especially regarding technology bring the car industry in the future!