Auto trends come and go, but what does 2018 have in store for the car consumer? The auto industry finished 2017 with U.S. sales of 17.1 million units. While that number may seem high, it represents the first sales decline in seven years. How will automakers respond? And will SUVs and CUVs continue to dominate in 2018? Here are the top 5 trends to watch for drivers and carmakers.
If you think electric cars are a thing of the future, think again. There are hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) in operation today reports Forbes.com. The biggest contributor to electric vehicles on the auto industry is a brand many link with the future–Tesla.
If you think electric cars are just a passing fad, think again. Almost every major automaker has a major EV initiative in 2018. Mercedes-Benz announced in September it will offer 50 electric versions of all its models by 2022. Not to be outdone, BMW reports that it plans to mass-produce electric cars by 2020 and will make 12 different models by 2025, according to Autoblog.com.
2018 is predicted to be a great year to purchase a car for consumers as automakers work to clean out inventory and make room for new auto arrivals. Why the extra inventory? There 3 driving reasons. One of the reasons is the rise in leased vehicles. Almost a third of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. are now leased, according to USAToday.com. Another reason, consumers are hanging on to their cars for longer. And the final reason, more and more consumers are turning to used vehicles to save money.
Despite these trends, automakers can rely on sales from new designs and new futures with their new models. Still, Edmunds forecasts U.S. sales of 16.8 million in 2018, which is down from the previous 4 years. Another factor that can influence this forecast number? Car loans. Consumers unable to obtain the financing they desire can tip the scales in a hurry.
Subscription Model Options
Several major manufacturers and third-party companies are now offering the consumer another option to consider when trying to determine a new car purchase. Subscription services work like a lease or a monthly financing arrangement but can come with insurance and maintenance perks that are attractive to consumers and that allow you to swap cars without much difficulty. Third-party companies can offer you a car experience much like what Getaround, ZipCar, or Car2Go offer. Some companies will require a flat monthly fee; others will charge depending on car and location.
One of the biggest auto trends to hit both cities large and small is ride-sharing, or as some call it: “catching an Uber.” Uber and Lyft offer consumers taxi-like transportation delivered by a private vehicle near your location. Part of the draw of ride-sharing over Taxi services is that you agree on a total price up front, you aren’t charged by how long it takes to get there. You are also not required to tip. Some private ride-sharing cars are much nicer than taxis, but it can be hit and miss on the total consumer experience.
One of the main driving factors for self-driving car technology is the lives that will be saved when they become more mainstream. According to Money.com, in just 2016 alone, there were 37,461 auto-related deaths. Self-driving cars will be programmed with features to help prevent accidents from occurring for both pedestrians and drivers.
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