Top 6 Trends in the Automotive Industry

Andre Oentoro

For quite a very long time, the automotive industry developed at a very leisurely tempo. The innovations were always there, but they kept pace with the rest of the landscape and could be better described as an evolution rather than a revolution.

Now, when digital technology completely overhauled the business landscape and set industrial development on a completely new trek, it was only expected for the automotive industry to pick up the pace as well. And truly, the last couple of decades marked the shift into high gear and a period of endless innovation, market disruptions, and new technologies.

This process is taking place at this very moment too. Let us take a look then at some of the hottest trends shaping the automotive industry to see what exciting technologies will mark the next decade.

The EV scoring sustainable growth

Despite their promising outlook, the electric vehicles were, for quite some time, scoring sales that could be best described as mediocre. Over the last couple of years, we have even seen a slight decline in sales. But, it looks like things are gradually turning around. First, the technology is maturing with new iterations and the constant influx of new affordable models does make the market more diverse and appealing. Second, the recent world developments have once again sparked interest in renewable energy. Be that as it may, this year, the sales of electric vehicles are expected to rise by a rock-solid 12.9%.

Car sales gradually moving online

For quite some time now, ecommerce is on its way to becoming the preferable way of performing retail sales. If we put aside the used vehicles, cars were, for the most part, left out of this process. Well, this may no longer be the case. Despite initial distrust, buying a car online is admittedly a very novel process so it shouldn't be a surprise their number is steadily growing on a year-to-year basis. According to recent research, the number of vehicles sold online is expected to grow 12.2% by 2030. Of course, this trend is still limited to developed countries like Australia and United States, but it will spread out very soon.

The average lifespan constantly increasing

The vehicle's lifespan is constantly expanding – marginally, but constantly. At this point, the average life span of one vehicle sits at around 12.2 months which is two months longer than the previous year. This is something to be expected since the car repair services are keeping up the pace with overall trends. If we once again take Australia as an example, we will see that any professional car service in Woollahra or some other developed district will use the latest gen repair equipment and methodology. If anything, these developments indicate the used car, spare parts, and aftermarket car parts sectors as well.

The age of autonomous vehicles is nigh

Even though this topic is closely related to the previous one, autonomous vehicles are an entirely different beast. This was mostly due to the fact that the adoption of these units was not only impeded by tech limitations but also various legislative and even ethical obstacles. Be that as it may, the estimates say that, by 2040 we will see more than 33 million autonomous vehicles roaming the US roads which is a sharp increase from the meager 1,400 active self-driving cars we have today. Since the major brand plan to make investments in this field the very next year, the major disruption may be just around the corner.

The car sales slowing down before picking up

This trend is the result of a great number of different factors. The extended vehicle lifespan is one of them. The post-pandemic economy that hadn't fully recovered before being hit by the European crisis can be listed as another. And then there is the issue of global chip shortage that throws an additional wrench in the gears of car supply chains. In the case of EVs, this shortage comes in the form of difficulties in regard to producing enough lithium-ion batteries. However, some sources indicate that the prices might drop and sales launch a comeback already in 2023 followed by a constant 5% increase on an annual basis.

Hydrogen becoming a fuel of the future

Over the last couple of years, there has been much talk about hydrogen as the alternative to both fossil fuels as well as lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles. In this case, the power is generated by the reaction produced by hydrogen and oxygen stored in the rechargeable fuel-cell stacks. When depleted, these ‘batteries’ can be refueled just as quickly as fuel tanks – in no more than a couple of minutes. Even though it’s still in its infancy, this technology does show the potential of solving the scarcity of both predominant power sources (fossil fuels and lithium) and even becoming the industry standard.

We hope these few examples gave you a general idea about the trends that will shape the car industry in years to come and allow you to take a peek into the automotive future. As we can see, there are a lot of exciting things brewing on the horizon but the road we will need to pass there will be all but carefree. Still, even despite all the difficulties it faced throughout its history, the automotive industry managed to demonstrate tremendous staying power. So, we can't help but be excited about the future prospects.

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Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).


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