The pandemic might have changed the way we shop forever, and this trend is making big changes in the auto retail industry. Consumers are driving the innovation of new IT trends, AI features, and smart car technology across the board.
From self-driving capabilities to AR for cars, there are a ton of interesting changes that are heavily influencing the auto retail market.
Drivers are looking for more smart features, and manufacturers are trying to learn how to make more with less as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. Remote capabilities and software innovation is leading the way, and car brands are taking notice.
No matter whether you’re looking to buy or just want to see what’s going on in the industry, check out some of the top auto industry trends we can expect to see in the coming year.
Plug-and-Go EV Charging
Sustainable power is all the rage, as government and private organizations around the world strive to eliminate the use of non-renewable fossil fuels. The increase in interest has catalyzed tech innovation, and now electric-powered vehicles are more accessible than ever.
More units in 2021 will incorporate plug-and-charge systems, including plug-in hybrids like the Audi Q5 and Subaru Crosstrek.
Despite Biden’s proposal to install hundreds of thousands of charging stations around the country, this charging method is cheaper and easier for the average vehicle owner. It will soon be possible to take a coast-to-coast road trip in an electric mass-market car.
In that same vein, cars are being built to last in a modern consumer market. Electric vehicles are no longer only suitable for around-town travel or a short commute. You can now buy a fully-loaded SUV or truck that you’ll never have to take to the gas station.
No matter your lifestyle, there will be a vehicle on the market for you in 2021. Popular efficient models include:
- Nissa Ariya
- BMW iX3
- Hyundai Ioniq 5
- Rivian R1T
- Chevrolet Bolt EUV
As auto manufacturers prioritize this aspect of their business plan, we’ll start to see more developments in the sustainability and efficiency sectors.
AI in Autonomous Driving
Self-driving cars are no longer a dream concept. More mainstream retailers are adding this feature to attract tech-savvy buyers, and this means that IT innovators are paving the way.
Artificial intelligence is one of the tools developers are using to improve safety and accessibility during the driving experience.
Tech giants from Apple to Tesla have a hand in the trajectory of the AI and auto manufacturing industry as a whole. As more innovators join the industry, car brands are pumping more and more features out of the testing phase and onto the mass market.
There are about 1,400 autonomous vehicles on the road now, but that number is expected to climb dramatically in the next year. More consumers are looking for a hands-off driving experience – without the risk and worry. AI is helping to fill in the gaps and keep systems running smoothly behind the scenes.
Double-Digit Business Growth Post-Pandemic
Although it’ll take a while to climb back to 2019 revenue levels, auto retailers expect the market to shoot back up in the next year.
Online shopping has taken off in a big way, and this is one of the factors that is impacting the car retail market as a whole. More consumers feel comfortable with online buying platforms, and retailers are saving money on operating costs as a result.
Additionally, increasing the level of customizability that consumers can expect for their purchase is driving more buyers to the (virtual) car lot. Many companies, such as RelayCars, are exploring ways of using ar for cars to enhance the driving experience.
Whether you plan on buying, selling, or just browsing in 2021, there will be a lot of changes to be aware of before starting the process. Between growth in the tech and financial spheres, the auto industry is expected to see a major snapback in the next year.
Consider these new updates when shopping for, selling, or inquiring about a new vehicle both in person and online.
Brexit – going down to the wire
With Brexit talks (at the time of writing) still underway, if no agreement is accepted, the company faced the possibility of trading under WTO law. This could lead in immigration and boundary shortages contributing to supply difficulties and, as a consequence of sanctions and the need for stocking up, potential price rises for consumers.
Let’s not overlook how critical this is: 90% of passenger cars sold in the UK are purchased, with 70% coming from the EU, and 80% of the cars manufactured here are exported, with more than 50% going to the EU via the stream.
More than 80% of the parts are imported from the EU for more than GBP 10 billion, and while the possible tariff rises are smaller, they will still have a very significant impact, and somewhere the prices will have to be borne.
The Society of Motor Producers and Traders (SMMT) has predicted that no agreement will cost the industry £ 55 billion, with ACEA forecasting an aggregate effect of EUR 110 billion on the European sector.
However, even if the EU-UK agreement is achieved, a major change is still unavoidable, particularly for those companies that rely on cross-border supply chains.
So, regardless of the outcome of the talks, from January, at least in the short term, supply problems for dealers and their customers could well be a problem.
Despite fears across the country about a deteriorating outlook for the coronavirus pandemic and the prospect of new market regulations, manufacturers are sending a slew of vital new and updated models to dealer showrooms right now.
Auto dealers have been doing what auto dealers do best for the past eight months: shaking off market jitters, mobilizing to sell more cars and trucks, maneuvering to keep their stores going and marketing to keep customers excited about what is for sale.
Retailers need this fresh commodity infusion. And buyers still want to buy, judging from the sales comeback of the industry in the back half of this year.