2021 Vehicle Trends

As predicted, 2021 vehicle trends continue to lean towards increased technology and decreased emissions. However, what no one could have predicted, were the changes in consumer behavior due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In what was a wild 2020, automakers are now ramping up 2021 production to cater to the rapid increase in personal vehicle purchases, as stimulus checks fly and the use of public transportation remains down.

Less Horsepower and more Computing Power

As technology driven competitors begin to muscle their way into the market, the larger players will continue to have to embrace smart technologies. Those companies who do not embrace this quickly emerging technology will become obsolete. Software development, better operating systems, electric and connected car services, and autonomous vehicle technology will all be top of mind in 2021.

Browsing Online instead of Showrooms

With the rise of online vehicle platforms and the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 is already seeing less in-person car shopping and more online browsing. In 2020, the pandemic taught many skeptical users how ebay it is to shop online, even for big ticket items like cars. This is also benefiting dealerships, as they can now cut overhead costs on showrooms and offer more competitive prices. The pandemic is also resulting in the increased purchase of personal vehicles, as those who fear infection are opting out of public transportation. 

Subscription-Based User Models

Many brands have begun experimenting with different vehicle ownership models. Highly flexible models like leasing and subscriptions with shorter commitments are beginning to emerge. However, before this becomes commonplace, market needs and affordable pricing will have to be established. In addition to new vehicles, including lightly used vehicles for lease will help to expand the market to both ends of the customer spectrum. This will be a great solution for lease providers to monetize the used car market.

Electric will Continue to Grow

By now, this feels like old news, but electric vehicles will continue to carve out a larger, more dedicated space in the market. While the electric vehicle market will continue to be dictated by strict emissions regulations and consumer preferences, sales will continue to grow in 2021. The fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) vs BEV battle will also intensify this year as additional automakers put their money behind further development.

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