The automotive industry has evolved for the past 125 years. Gas prices have sky rocketed, competition and global economies have put pressure on car makers. Due to these, there are increasing changes compared to the past and it is foreseen to speed up even more in the next years. Based on observations and forecasts, here are the five car trends for this year:
The Korean manufacturer Hyundai set the bar so high when they released the new Elantra compact in 2010. It was the first ever model which offered “the same fuel mileage across all trim levels”. The 40mpg bar will be implemented with half a dozen Kia and Hyundai models for 2012. This has been the key to their successful sales –good gas mileage. It is expected that other car makers will surely follow this trend.
There is a high demand for safer vehicles. Manufacturers are now offering increased traction control, improved roofs, and side curtain air bags for instances when the car meets an accident and rolls over. New improvements to be expected this year include collision avoidance systems and inflatable seat belt airbags.
There is an increasing demand for environment friendly products and this goes the same for cars. Consumers don’t just see cars as hybrids or electric. The materials used for these vehicles re also a big factor. The fillers for the seats, headliner used for the carpets must also be eco-friendly or made of recycled materials. The Ford Fusion Hybrid for example has seats made from reclaimed plastics.
In the next few years, it is expected that leasing will become the new trend and not buying. Consumers are starting to realize “that some cars offer and excellent residual value three years out which means lending companies are lowering lease rates to some of the best levels”. More and more people are now driving cars they “can’t afford to buy, but can afford to rent”.
Other trends expected this year include more use of the “eight-speed transmissions, expanded hybrid and electric choices and new in-cabin navigation technologies”.
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