The State of the Automotive Industry: Five Takeaways from 2018
Electric Vehicles are the Future
Dealers and enthusiasts alike should take note that this trend is not going away. In a year that saw the decline of overall auto sales, electric vehicle sales grew significantly. Notable automakers GM, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are all focusing heavily on this initiative in response to the industry trend. Electric vehicles are expected to dominate the road within the next decade.
Ride Sharing is here to Stay
The death of the taxi cab is now imminent. Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have officially taken over the market. With a rising cost of living in urban metropolitan areas, owning a car has become difficult. Naturally, these are the markets where ride-sharing is growing rapidly.
Smart Technology is Getting Smarter
Younger, tech-savvy generations are now driving the transformation of the industry. This generation grew up with smart technology and there is an expectation of sustainable and convenient solutions in their vehicles as well. This has inherently made our cars “smarter.” Think apps, voice-commands and self-parking capabilities.
Autonomous Vehicle Technology
Until recently, a car that drives itself sounded like an idea out of a Sci-Fi movie; but with the rapid progress in artificial intelligence and machine learning, this is finally becoming a reality. In the past several years, autonomous vehicles have gone from “possible” to “available for purchase.” While 2018 did not see the breakthrough of fully autonomous vehicles, we continued to make strides in that direction.
3D printing is now playing a larger role in the manufacturing process. While this technology was primarily used for prototyping things like bumpers and OEM wheels, improved processes like fused filament fabrication have enhanced the ability to produce end-use parts like OEM hubcaps and OEM center caps. Additionally, blockchain capabilities are now helping to combat constant recalls, fake or faulty products and consumer safety issues.