Trends over Trends – Predicitions on the Automotive Sector

cars_on_ship2012 has been a good year for the majority of the world’s car manufacturers. Despite a growing sales crisis in Europe – one of the world’s most important sales market – car manufacturers have boosted their global sales quite significantly.

A Review of 2012 – Sales Increases by the Big 3

According to an article published by CNBC US auto giant General Motors (GM) has launched 9.29 million cars into the market in 2012 (2.9 percent increase), while the Japanese company Toyota sold 9.7 million cars in 2012. Toyota stands now on firm ground again, after suffering from a tremendous earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. In 2012 sales increased considerable 22 percent in comparison to the previous year. Also their European counterpart Volkswagen (VW) gained growth in 2012 in boosting global sales to 9.1 million cars (11 percent increase).

But where have sales counterbalanced Europe’s downturn? You can find the answers especially when observing the emerging Chinese market.

The hungry Dragon – China’s Demand in Cars

An article published by “The Raw Story” states that especially China demands for new cars. In 2012 GM recorded an increase in sales by 11.3 percent, while VW finished 2012 with a 24.5 percent sales increase in China.

There’s no question that car manufacturers have to be innovative throughout the year in order to stay competitive. Where they offered some three to five models some decades ago, they now have come up with a vast variety of sedans, compacts, SUVs, wagons, convertibles, minivans  and sports cars. But it is not all about the different models! New technology, enterntainment and safety features have gained ground in the last years.

And now? Predicitions on 2013 – A Glimpse into the Future

The big question is: What can customers expect in 2013? Nancy Pardo, writer and editor for several industry magazines, predicts trends in the following.

blind spot alerts

  1. Increase in mobile device integration: Technology within the car will be more and more connected. She predicts more innovation in infotainment and on-board electronics, where automobile companies will increase their cooperation with high-tech companies such as Google and Microsoft.
  2. Safety technology:  Self driving technology, parking distance, lane departure warning, blind spot alerts, fatigue detection, dynamic light assist etc. These innovations were introduced in the market in recent years. Experts predict more high-tech safety features in this year.
  3. Hybrid cars will become popular: as the technology has been used by several car producers so far, prices will drop over time. This will lead to more people considering buying an environmental friendly car.

These predictions are also supported by Scott Corwin and Brian Collie, partners with global management consulting firm Booz & Co. who wrote the 2013 Automotive Industry Perspective report. They stated that “Right now, the automotive industry is in a phase of both rapid and broad technological innovation that spans several scientific disciplines—chemistry (batteries), materials science (lightweight materials), and consumer electronics (infotainment), to name a few,”

Automobil expert Stefan Liske, who has worked for BMW and was the Director of the Group Product Strategy at VW for several years, states in a small interview that car manufacturers have started to work more and more together with powerful and innovative startups. It is sort of a big movement which is slowly but steadily bringing a breath of fresh air to the automobil industry.

Engineering you can touch – Latest Innovation on Stage

In these days eyes are fixed on Detroit, which holds one of the world’s largest auto shows: North American International Auto Show. Car producers show here their latest generation of cars and customers will have the chance to get informed about what will be launched into the market shortly.