As of November 2020, worldwide car sales are expected to dip to only 62 million units by the end of the year. This is a rather sharp decline from the 80 million units sold in 2017. However, as gloomy as such a development may sound, there are positive indications that the global automotive manufacturing industry will bounce back in 2021. This phoenix-like rise will bank on a few trends that are expected to help the industry regain its stellar performance from the ashes of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are six car manufacturing trends that are projected to go big in 2021:
1. The rise of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles or EVs are eyed to make it even bigger by next year despite the fact that economies worldwide are still reeling from the slump caused by the ongoing pandemic crisis. While EVs are already making a buzz in many countries, they are projected to become increasingly commonplace in more countries. This is as governments increase subsidies, newer models are introduced, battery mileage gets improved, and buyer confidence becomes higher. With these positive developments, expect to see more electric vehicles running everywhere.
2. Heightened interest in automotive glass.
By 2021, there will be heightened interest in automotive glass, particularly in the collision repair market. Next year, you can expect an increased focus on top-caliber windshield replacement services, heads-up display (HUD) technology, and calibration of windshield-mounted front-facing cameras. Come 2021, automotive glass won’t be primarily be seen as protection against the elements, but as integral components of vehicle safety and infotainment.
3. Spike in personal car purchases.
These days, 93 percent of Chinese people are using their personal cars to get to their destinations instead of taking public transportation. This is understandable given the fear of people to be exposed to COVID-19 transmission. Meanwhile, those who do not own a personal vehicle say that they are seriously considering buying one as a result of their concern for personal safety and health in light of the ongoing pandemic.
4. Increased preference for local car dealership experience.
Right now, there’s already a growing preference among car buyers and owners to enjoy a car dealership experience that is close to home. While there are people who prefer shopping for a potential car through digital means, some car buyers still want the traditional experience of test-driving an actual car before buying one from a local dealership. Indications suggest that this specific preference will continue well into the coming year.
5. Online automotive purchases will be big.
As mentioned, some potential car buyers are turning to virtual avenues to shop for their dream car. This is why digital car marketing and dealership as an offshoot of the pandemic situation is seen to be big by 2021. Right now, car dealerships are providing buyers options to tour car interiors virtually, do online checkouts, and choose digital payment solutions. In an increasingly digital world, such a trend might really be the rule instead of the exception.
6. 3D printing technology will be used more extensively.
While 3D printing technology has been around for quite some time, it’s only recently being embraced by the automotive manufacturing industry. These days, this tech innovation allows carmakers to quickly make prototypes, produce end parts and tools, and other car manufacturing applications where a physical product is needed. By 2021, more and more car manufacturers will surely incorporate this groundbreaking tech tool into their daily operations.
These tech trends are expected to help the auto manufacturing industry recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re someone who’s closely following both the tech and car manufacturing industries, then 2021 should be an exciting year for you.