2014 proved to be the best year in auto sales since 2006. And in 2015, this momentum is expected to continue, as some estimates peg sales as being as high as 17 million vehicles. Some of the reasons for the increase in sales are an improvement in consumer confidence, more access to credit, and an economy that is much healthier than it has been during the past few years. With that being said, here are the 5 trends that are shaping the auto industry in 2015.
Better In-Car Technology
This isn’t referring to such things as heated seats, but instead, to digital elements that consumers are demanding more and more of. In-car technology is one of the top selling points of new vehicles, which auto manufacturers certainly realize. Infotainment systems are being designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly, with systems that are designed to do even more, whether its in regards to GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, or playing music directly from your smartphone.
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Subcompact SUVs are poised to be the hottest new car sector in the United States. Similar to sport utilities, they are designed for people that want an SUV but are put off by the cost. Some of the prominent names to look out for include the Honda HR-V and Mazda MX-3. They are being marketed at young people, particularly urban explorers. Already having proved to be extremely popular in many parts of world, such as Australia, 2015 will determine their future in the United States.
Yes, you read that right. In 2015, pickup trucks are hotter than ever, with all of the three main auto manufacturers in the United States engaged in heavy competition with each other. The fact that both Nissan and Toyota are also planning on introducing new pickup trucks in 2015 is just another sign of the consumer demand for them. Competition breeds innovation, so look for the considerable improvements in the new batch of pickup trucks that are being released.
Speed, Speed, Speed
Gas prices are lower than they have been in years. As a result, consumers aren’t as concerned about spending money on gas like they used to be. High-performance sports cars are now in greater demand than before, including such successful vehicles as the Cadillac CTS-V.
Green is in. More and more consumers have become environmentally conscious, meaning that auto makers are producing vehicles that are increasingly green. Not that many of them have a choice. Government regulations that have been put in place have dictated strict terms that they have to follow, such as in fuel economy. New vehicles are thus trying to be extremely fuel efficient, including utilizing fuel-cell concepts. Toyota, for example, will be selling its Mirai fuel cell vehicle later this year in certain states.
Look out for these trends in 2015. While many of them may not last, you can be confident that you’ll notice them, especially if you’re in the market for a new vehicle. Innovation is certainly the name of the game this year!
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