2018 began with the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC) meeting in Detroit with Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and with Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Growth on January 15th. The meeting took place during the North American International Auto Show and discussion focused on how to position Canada’s auto industry as a leader in design, development, and manufacturing in the light of the profound changes currently affecting the sector worldwide. In short, to maintain the growth and competitiveness of the automotive sector in Canada, the CAPC highlights the importance of leveraging Canadian talent and technological innovation in creating opportunities to build the car of the future right here in Ontario.
Ontario’s auto industry is ready for the global trends of the future
As reported in the Toronto Star, Canada’s auto industry, which is concentrated in Ontario, shows continued strength thanks to an appetite for luxury cars and high-end SUVs as well as better than expected job creation. When global trends towards zero emission vehicles and autonomous driving are added to the industry’s strength, it becomes clear that Ontario is well prepared for the future.
In mid-January, Technavio, a leading market research company with a focus on emerging technology trends, identified its top 10 trends to watch in the automotive industry in 2018. Because our home province is a global player in the automotive field, Ontario Cars would like to highlight a few of the biggest trends from this top 10 that are pertinent to our market.
Here, then, are the auto industry trends to watch out for in 2018 according to Ontario Cars.
The trend is towards minimizing the impact of cars and other vehicles on the environment. Combined with the declining supply of non-renewable energy sources such as oil and gas, this trend has led to a push to increase the production of electric vehicles. People really are buying electric cars. Almost 10 million electric cars have been sold since 2016. And, in 2018, sales of electric vehicles are expected to surpass 5% of the UK auto market and to attain nearly 12% of the US market, which explains why even established carmakers such as General Motors, Daimler AG, and Volkswagen have developed their own electric models to take advantage of this lucrative market.
Globally, car sharing is seen as a viable way to reduce the volume of city traffic and to decrease stress on the environment. As a result, car sharing has become very popular. Industry experts estimate that, by 2030, one out of every ten cars sold will be a shared vehicle. Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will increasingly offer customization beginning in 2018 to enhance the passenger experience. Imagine being offered snacks and drinks or being able to choose your favorite music, and you’ll get the idea.
The technology that can make a vehicle fully autonomous continues to develop in leaps and bounds in 2018. The touted benefits include reduced incidence of accidents and better traffic management, not to mention increased passenger comfort. That means autonomous vehicles represent an undisputed trend in the auto industry. Following the recent advances made by Google and Uber, we expect to see plenty of carmakers introducing autonomous vehicles in 2018.
The internet of things (IoT) trend continues to spread and is now making inroads into the auto industry. Your car is transforming itself into a connected device thanks to increased consumer demand for easy internet access. 2018 is poised to be a turning point that will see an uptick in the adoption rate of connected cars. The higher number of cars with interconnected features that are compatible with Android and iOS means that app developers will make sure applications work across all platforms.
Bringing together the comfort of SUVs and the fuel economy and low operating costs of sedans, the versatility of crossover vehicles are winning over more and more buyers. Crossover vehicles are sturdy, but they’re also fun. There’s no need to compromise on comfort and style when opting for practicality, and drivers value that. This year, carmakers will invest in producing more crossovers and explore new markets.
Today’s retirees are looking for adventure, not a permanent golf vacation, and being able to travel on their own is important to them. Multi-terrain vehicles meet their requirements, providing comfort and ease of handing in a wide range of driving conditions. Low fuel consumption combined with luxury features and 5-door utility have made multi-terrain vehicles particularly attractive to drivers of retirement age. This trend shows no signs of slowing in 2018.
Better car buying experience
Another trend gaining importance in 2018 is the push to create a better car buying experience. Dealers are in the process of revitalizing the customer experience at all points of the purchasing journey, from the in-store service desk to the dealership website.
That’s where Ontariocars.ca comes in. Powered by the members of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario, ontariocars.ca is the only website where ALL used vehicles listed come with all-in pricing, full disclosure of past accident history when being sold, a no lien guarantee, and a compensation fund to protect consumers.