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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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Toyota Announces To Launch TALKING vehicles in U.S. in 2021

Toyota to launch talking vehicles in the United States in the year 2021

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The Toyota logo is seen on a car in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 2, 2017. Toyota has said it will make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all its U.S. models by the end of 2017.
The Toyota logo is seen on a car in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 2, 2017. Toyota has said it will make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all its U.S. models by the end of 2017. (VOA)

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to start selling U.S. vehicles that can talk to each other using short-range wireless technology in 2021, the Japanese automaker said on Monday, potentially preventing thousands of accidents annually.

The U.S. Transportation Department must decide whether to adopt a pending proposal that would require all future vehicles to have the advanced technology.

Toyota hopes to adopt the dedicated short-range communications systems in the United States across most of its lineup by the mid-2020s. Toyota said it hopes that by announcing its plans, other automakers will follow suit.

The Obama administration in December 2016 proposed requiring the technology and giving automakers at least four years to comply. The proposal requires automakers to ensure all vehicles “speak the same language through a standard technology.”

Automakers were granted a block of spectrum in 1999 in the 5.9 GHz band for “vehicle-to-vehicle” and “vehicle to infrastructure” communications and have studied the technology for more than a decade, but it has gone largely unused. Some in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission think it should be opened to other uses.

Toyota Car Logo
Toyota Car Logo. Pixabay

In 2017, General Motors Co began offering vehicle-to-vehicle technologies on its Cadillac CTS model, but it is currently the only commercially available vehicle with the system.

Talking vehicles, which have been tested in pilot projects and by U.S. carmakers for more than a decade, use dedicated short-range communications to transmit data up to 300 meters, including location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles.

The data is broadcast up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles, which can identify risks and provide warnings to avoid imminent crashes, especially at intersections.

Toyota has deployed the technology in Japan to more than 100,000 vehicles since 2015.

Also Read: Tesla aiming to build 6,000 Model 3 cars per week by end-June

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last year the regulation could eventually cost between $135 and $300 per new vehicle, or up to $5 billion annually but could prevent up to 600,000 crashes and reduce costs by $71 billion annually when fully deployed.

NHTSA said last year it has “not made any final decision” on requiring the technology, but no decision is expected before December.

Last year, major automakers, state regulators and others urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to finalize standards for the technology and protect the spectrum that has been reserved, saying there is a need to expand deployment and uses of the traffic safety technology.  VOA