The Year In Review: Auto Trends Of 2015
2015 signaled some big changes in the auto industry, both in terms of what consumers expect from vehicle makers to the new tech-centered features being offered on newer model cars. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the major shifts in the 2015 auto industry, including new releases that offered a peek into what we can expect from the driving experience moving forward.
As to be expected, 2015 signaled a shift toward more electronics in vehicles–something that comes along with the technological developments that now influence every aspect of our lives. Another development we saw in 2015 was that crossover vehicles experienced a dramatic increase in popularity. Part of the reason for this rise in popularity is that crossover utility vehicles offer many of the benefits of an SUV, but with better fuel efficiency and handling that is more similar to a sedan.
Overview of 2015 Consumer Trends In The Auto Industry
While 2015 was generally a strong year of growth for the industry, there are still difficulties in gaining a consistent foothold in international markets. While growth continues to be seen in overseas sales, they are nowhere near as consistent as they are here in U.S. This may be cause for concern for some automakers, but more likely reveals a shift in consumer demand that manufacturers have to keep pace with.
One major aspect of this changing expectation is that consumers are increasingly expecting high-end features on standard vehicles. As a result, we saw several luxury brands break into the mainstream with more cost-effective models and alternative fuel vehicles. As always, safety features were a top priority, many of which have seen big improvements, either through increased regulation, or the implementation of newer technologies. What this all points to, of course, is that the industry as a whole is shifting towards electric vehicles that are equipped with the latest technology safety features.
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5 New Car Trends That Stood Out in 2015
There were five key auto trends that stood out in 2015, all of which will likely have an impact on the 2016 year of auto sales and development. In a trend that we saw the beginnings of in 2014, crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) continued their rise in popularity. Similarly, we saw the growth of the connected car–vehicles that are equipped with internet access and are capable of sharing information with users and other devices. Along with technological improvements, safety features began to become a focus of automakers, particularly with electric and hybrid models.
Crossover utility vehicles – We wrote about the popularity of crossover utility vehicles in a previous blog post, noting that they showed the most drastic increase in sales as compared to other vehicle types over the 2015 year. Many new models were released in 2015, including several of the upcoming model year cars that were debuted at the L.A. Auto Show.
Connected cars – Like every other device that we use on a regular basis, technology continues to impact how we use our cars, now more than ever. New features we saw growth in popularity and usage this year included things like internet-connected driving. The importance of this technology is that it allows the vehicle to provide several automated, data-driven features like danger notifications and speeding alerts.
Luxury hybrids – Many luxury car makers began making the push toward hybrids in 2015. Lexus and Mercedes both came out with new hybrids, joining the ranks of other auto makers that are now making electric and hybrid vehicles in response to consumer demand. BMW kicked off the trend last year by introducing the i3, which was available as both a hybrid and an electric car.
Safety features – As technology becomes more implemented into the auto world, we’re starting to see the improvement and development of certain safety features. Features like lane change alert systems, automatic parallel parking, and hazard alerts are just a few of the technology driven safety features that have been implemented into newer models. This comes on the heels of increased regulation for vehicle safety–the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled that all new cars weighing under 10,000 pounds must be equipped with a backup camera by 2018.
Electric – It comes as no surprise that the auto industry and consumer demand are simultaneously moving toward the direction of electric and hybrid vehicles. 2015 saw a big push in that direction as many auto makers rolled out new models and features that are sure to shape the future of the electric car industry as it gains traction. Ford made perhaps the biggest push in that direction during 2015 as they invested more than $4 million toward electric vehicle development.
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