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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
Cadillac Unveils a Photo of What You Would Call its First Electric Car. VOA
  • 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.

Next Story

New Electric Car by Sony Leaves Car Makers Worried: Report

Why car makers should be afraid of Sony's electric car

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Sony car
CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony - a move that must make traditional car makers worried. (Representational Image). Pixabay

One of the biggest surprises at this year’s CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony – a move that must make traditional car makers worried, says a new report.

According to data-driven market research company Cascend, the car was built by Sony’s internal AI and robotics team (who makes their robotic dog, Aibo) with (significant) engineering support from Austria-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr.

“With increasing sensors, displays, controllers and infotainment, vehicles are becoming more-and-more like electronics products,” said the report.

Sony already makes display and infotainment systems which are becoming much more important parts of the car and controls.

Sony_logo
Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan. Pixabay

Sony also makes high-res CMOS optical cameras and sensors, solid state lidar, radar and time-of-flight sensors — integrated into an advanced driver assistance system which Sony calls its ‘Safety Cocoon’,” the report added.

Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan.

It comes equipped with a phenomenal 33 different sensors both outside and inside the car, a widescreen display, 360 degree audio, and always-on connectivity, with some pieces coming from industry players like BlackBerry and Bosch.

Vision S is also powered by a “newly-designed EV platform” — engineered by automotive supplier Magna.

“Sony outsourced much of the “car stuff” from autoparts makers powered by an EV “platform” (supposedly engineered by auto supplier Magna) that Sony expects will be able to power other vehicles (like SUVs),” the report said.

Electric vehicles are a massive disruption in car-makers’ manufacturing processes. Their core technologies around combustion engines, drive trains, suspension and body design (over 100 years of development) aren’t particularly relevant.

Also Read- Tesla Cars Will Soon be Talking to Pedestrians, Hints Elon Musk

“And because of this, new EV companies (which aren’t traditional car makers) are springing up everywhere,” said the report.

China understands they can leapfrog traditional car makers (of which they have basically none) to become a powerhouse in EV and are investing heavily. (IANS)