2018 is here and so are some hot new automotive trends that are taking over! We may not have flying cars yet or even hover cars for that matter, but there are some great trends happening this year that can potentially shape things long into the future. From technology to engines to manufacturing and even a third option besides owning or leasing, 2018 will not disappoint. These trends are geared towards the consumer and their thoughts on what's hot and what's not. Despite automotive sales being down for the first time in 7 years, these top 5 automotive trends taking over 2018 will be sure to help!
5. Electric Powered Cars Are Here to Stay
Electric powered cars are already on the market and have done well since surpassing 2 million sales back in 2016 and it looks like they are here to stay. That was a 60% jump in sales from 2015 and once the numbers for 2017 are out I am sure they will show the trend is being cemented into a steady solution for the decline in non-renewable energy. Not to mention that gas prices are still inconsistent and in my opinion pretty high.
We saw last year that a handful of manufacturers tested the market with new 2017 electric cars like the Chevy Bolt, the Volkswagen E-Golf, the BMW i3 and of course Tesla with the new Tesla 3. This year it will be along the same lines with more electric vehicle options and more sales as the trend continues to become more popular and cost effective.
Volvo took it a step further than most with their bold announcement that claims every engine they produce will have an electric motor by 2019. If we compile more evidence that shows how much more cost effective electric vehicles are than the traditional petrol and diesel fueled vehicles you can expect to see this trend really etching itself as the future of the automotive industry. Also, electric trucks will be on their way to the public in the next 2-3 years. Plus, a $7,500 tax break never hurt anyone right?
4. Tesla - Taking Electric Vehicles to Another Level
Tesla is the pioneer for electric vehicles and has paved the way so far with their innovative cars, but they are now taking it to another level. CEO Elon Musk has set the benchmark for EV's and is giving the automotive industry no choice but to accept it and step in line with the new trend of EV's.
The launch of the Tesla 3 in 2017 was significant (even if some customers are still waiting for theirs....) but Tesla has shocked the world again after revealing the latest Roadster model that can go from 0-60 MPH in just 1.9 seconds. This has set a new benchmark for electric supercars and you better believe that people will be lined up and ready to purchase one of these bad boys as soon as they are ready.
That's not all though. Tesla raised the bar even higher after the debut of their electric semi truck which is not the first ever, but will more than likely be the best when it is ready for launch. They are working on so many things that are not just changing the industry, but setting standards for the future. Imagine an EV semi that is semi-autonomous so it can drive itself most of the time. This is the future and a trend that is carving its way into history as well as the standard for years to come.
3. Ride Sharing And its Impact on the Automotive Industry
We all know how Uber and Lyft work at this point and can see the benefits of the service on many levels. Even those who own a vehicle take advantage of these services for when they are in another city/state or if they want to have date night without having to drink and drive. On the flip side, it has provided full or part time jobs to people across the nation to the point where even Amazon is hiring drivers for local deliveries.
Ride sharing has been trending for a few years now, but like electric vehicles it is cementing itself as a trend that will soon turn into a norm and continue to rise above the taxi cab industry. it is more cost effective, more personal and you often end up in a nice car. I was visiting Las Vegas for the SEMA show last year and rode in a brand new 4-door Porsche via Uber that was half the price of taking a cab.
Ride sharing has become so normal that airports and hotels often have specific loading and unloading sections just for Uber and Lyft that is separated from the cab lines. it is the beginning of the end for the cab industry.
2. Semi-Autonomy Now and Full Autonomy in the Near Future
We may not be ready just yet for a fully autonomous vehicle, but we are inching closer every year and now have some semi-autonomous vehicles being tested for launch this year. Don't get me wrong, we are far away from vehicles that will literally take over every aspect of driving, but this year there will be vehicles that have the most advanced version of cruise control ever.
This is not for everyone, but for those of us that take long road trips it will have a significant impact that will make the trip a lot easier. Doug Newcomb, from AutoBlog was able to test drive the new 2018 Cadillac CT6 Platinum on an 11 hour drive and from his Super Cruise review it was pretty incredible. There are a lot of limitations, but the main feature is that you can go for hours without touching the wheel or brakes. The new technology is only able to work on freeways and has a couple minor glitches, but on the entire trip he only had to touch the steering wheel twice and felt the need to hover his hands over it another two times which is impressive.
The bottom line here is that you can have this car and drive it this year. The advancement in automotive technology is a trend that will continue and autonomous vehicles are on the horizon. I took a trip from San Diego to Mount Shasta (just below Oregon) last year and would have loved to use this type of system instead of driving the entire way. There is still a very long way to go here, but this is a huge step in the right direction. Last year cars could park themselves and this year cars are able to drive and steer on freeways. What will next year bring?
1. Vehicle Subscriptions - Which One do I Pick This Week?
I saved this one for last because it is a brand-new trend and one that it pretty darn intriguing. What is a vehicle subscription?
It is a program that allows you to swap out vehicles on a weekly basis without leasing or owning them. Cadillac, Lincoln, Porsche and Volvo have all established programs like this for their customers and I am sure that others are soon to follow the bandwagon.
For a set fee, you can bundle insurance, roadside assistance, vehicle maintenance, taxes and registration into one monthly cost with no long-term requirement. Yes, it is a bit pricy running anywhere from $1,500-$3,000 per month, but it is well worth it for people in certain situations.
If you have a lot of money and prefer to drive a different car every week than this is perfect for you. Porsche has a package called the Porsche Passport that allows subscribers to choose from 22 different models and comes with unrestricted mileage.
The absolute flexibility with these new subscriptions comes at a pretty significant cost, but it is perfect for those who are looking to purchase a new 2018 Porsche or Cadillac or another vehicle. You can do this type of program for a month or two and test drive each of the models to make sure you purchase the one you love.
There are some incredible automotive trends taking over 2018 and these 5 really take the cake. Each of them has changed or is changing the standard which makes them trends that are here to stay. Electric cars, trucks and even semi trucks that will eventually be able to drive themselves is a huge step for the industry and will change the game forever.
Ride sharing has completely taken over resulting in more jobs and the eventual downfall of the cab industry while at the same time saving people money, making money and reducing driving under the influence of alcohol.
Vehicle subscriptions are just a trend for now, but if they take off like I think they can it will not be long before they have programs that are more cost friendly, but still offer the same type of solution. This is a long shot, but I am excited to see how it goes in the future.
Please leave a comment below with any automotive trends in 2018 that you think are significant so we can start a discussion and have some fun!