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The Top Automotive Trends for This Year

At the very least, we can expect both motorists and automotive companies to have confidence in the future on account of robust sales figures

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Electric cars are gaining more and more popularity in India and are sure to see a boom in their sales and production in the coming future. Photo: M. Rittgerott
Top Automotive Trends of this year listed. VOA
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  • Sale of vehicles and automotive parts is on an all-time-high
  • Last year 4 million cars were sold alone in India
  • The numbers are indicating towards a potential upswing

Sales of vehicles and automotive parts continue to increase in India. And just last year, the country saw at least four million cars sold. For a country touted to be one of the largest automotive industries in the Asia-Pacific region, the numbers only show a potential upward swing.

The increase in cess for large cars and sports utility vehicles jumped from 15 per cent to 25 per cent.

India saw the sale of 4 million vehicles last year.At the very least, we can expect both motorists and automotive companies to have confidence in the future on account of robust sales figures. Industry projections also provide reasons to feel elated. For one, the industry is set to grow at a pace of 10 to 15 percent. Given the right conditions and institutional support, it is set to reach a value of $16.5 billion by 2021.

Despite these positive figures, however, it is important to recognize the factors that will either bring new innovations to the table or worsen current challenges.

Here are some of the most important trends to watch out for this year.

Low-cost labor

India is indeed a haven for international car companies seeking to establish assembly lines at low costs. The availability of skilled labor and, with that, low wages will continue to play a vital role in improving annual production rates. China is the powerhouse for now, but local car manufacturers in India are maximizing the current labor climate in a bid to outrank its oriental neighbor.

 

Research and Development of features like fuel efficiency will be one of the main trends.

 

Focus on research and development

Safety and environmental concerns continue to be a priority among international car manufacturers. Consumers are still reeling from the serious recalls Toyota had to implement in response to factory defects. The experience created an atmosphere of caution, where buyers have become more focused on ensuring their own safety on the road. Design and manufacturing have thus skewed more towards ensuring better airbag systems, quality assessment procedures and environmental compliance.

Ventures with other companies

Innovations and technological shifts are a given, but it remains crucial for manufacturers to forge stronger relationships with OEM and tier partners such as machining services, AC parts suppliers, and windshield installations. However, due to incessant innovations, suppliers will have to update existing technologies or undergo acquisitions by larger OEMs where the sharing of vital resources of knowledge is very much possible.

 

Also Read: Electric Cars: The Newest Trend In India

Reliance on digital marketing

As with previous years, manufacturers and dealerships will continue to adapt to current digital trends. In terms of distribution, using online platforms can actually help in saving costs by selling directly to buyers, hence bypassing retailers. What’s more, using their online brand presence, car manufacturers can do better market research and outreach activities, allowing them to shorten the time it takes before buyers can make their decisions.

 

Digital marketing is another popular profession among graduates. Wikimedia Commons
Digital marketing will potentially increase the sales of cars. Wikimedia Commons

 

Focus on reforms

In a 2017 blog article by Priyam Saraf for The World Bank, policy reforms in the country are crucial for enhancing India’s competitiveness. Investments in research and development should also go hand in hand with reduction of tariffs as a way towards lessening the pressures on the automotive industry. More importantly, measures for improving compliance to global standards can further strengthen the industry’s performance in the face of rising competition that lies close to home.

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Parts Of Asia-Pacific Region Suffer From Acute Malnutrition And Hunger: UN

The report notes climate-related disasters are rising in the region, having a detrimental impact on agriculture.

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Hunger
A Papuan child suffering from malnutrition lies in a hospital bed for treatment in Agats, the capital of Asmat district in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province. VOA

Four U.N. specialized agencies warn that many parts of Asia and the Pacific suffer from alarmingly high levels of malnutrition and hunger. This is the first time the Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. Children’s Fund, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization have issued a joint report, which calls for urgent action to reverse the situation.

The report finds efforts to reduce malnutrition and hunger have come to a virtual standstill in Asia and the Pacific. Unless greater effort is made to tackle this situation, it warns prospects for economic and social development in the region will be at serious risk.

hunger
Malnourished and displaced Somali children sit in a tent in their camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. VOA

As of now, the U.N. agencies say many parts of Asia and the Pacific will not reach the U.N. sustainable goal of ending all forms of malnutrition and achieving zero hunger by 2030.

The United Nations reports 821 million people globally suffer from hunger. World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel said 62 percent of that number, or 509 million people, are in the Asia-Pacific region, with children, in particular, bearing the biggest burden.

Verhoosel said 79 million children, or one in every four under age five, suffer from stunting, and 34 million children are wasting. He says 12 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which increases their risk of death.

Hunger
Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals:

The report notes climate-related disasters are rising in the region, having a detrimental impact on agriculture. Loss of crops, it says, results in more hunger, more loss of nutrition and loss of livelihood.

Also Read: Loss of Teeth In Elder People Linked to Malnutrition

According to the report, climate-related losses in Asia between 2005 and 2015 amounted to a staggering $48 billion. Authors of the report say countries in the region must adapt agriculture so it’s more resilient to extreme climate events, and to mitigate the damage from climate change. (VOA)