The last decade has been an exciting one for the automotive industry overridden with technological upgrades, innovations, and new releases. 2019 will be a remarkable year for the sector as customer mobility habits change and new technologies take over the industry. New and old trends are taking shape that will have an enormous influence on the automotive industry and its players. Below are seven interesting trends that will shake up the automobile industry in 2019.

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1. Self-Driving Cars

Throughout 2018, self-driving cars made headlines, a trend that will continue in 2019. Self-driving cars have won the affection of consumers because of their convenience, reliability, and safety. Tech giants such as Uber, Lyft, and Waymo are making remarkable progress in making cars driverless. However, car manufacturers will need to convince consumers that driverless vehicles are safe amidst various reported cases of collisions.

2. Changing Consumer Mobility Habits

Consumer mobility habits are changing every day. Consumers want vehicles endowed with the latest technologies, especially driver-assist technologies to enhance their experience. In this era of digitalization, consumers desire connectivity in cars. They no longer want a “dead zone” in vehicles. They want a vehicle to be a place where life continues, and they have access to social media, music, Alexa, apps, and their business life. Nowadays, consumers are less emotionally attached to vehicle ownership. This trend has led to the development of shared cars and mobility- as-a-service solutions.

3. Digital Marketing

Advances in technology, changing consumer mobility behaviour, and longer car lifespan have changed the way the automobile industry markets its products and services. Marketing initiatives in the automobile industry are shifting to online as consumers use digital and mobile channels for research, shop, and purchase. Dealerships are increasingly relying on digital marketing to reach customers and prospects. Customers are soliciting for personalized and excellent experience from dealerships. Therefore, dealerships have to up their game and offer exceptional customer experiences as a marketing strategy.

4. Car Sharing

In the last couple of years, the way people relate to cars is changing. The notion of shared cars is gaining prominence, as fuel prices escalate and persons’ awareness of climate change increase. Also, the availability of low-cost and convenient ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber have intensified the trend. Car sharing will continue beyond 2019 and affect the automobile industry significantly.

5. Increased Electrification

Electric cars are on the increase since their introduction in the market, a trend that will continue in 2019. More resources are allocated to the establishment of hybrid infrastructures and refuelling stations. Consumers’ preference for hybrid cars continues to rise mainly because of increased gas prices and strict environmental regulations. Famous firms like Dyson have started investing in the manufacture of electric vehicles to meet consumer demands.

6. New Releases

2019 will be a prolific year for new car releases from famous manufacturers such as Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, and Toyota. There’s a pipeline of high-end vehicles –EVs, hybrids, SUVs, and sports cars- awaiting release in 2019. All these vehicles will have exceptional features ranging from impeccable driver assist features to state-of-the-art technology and outstanding interiors. Electric vehicles such as Mercedes EQC, Porsche Taycan, and MINI EV will delight consumers and usher in an automotive revolution. SUV’s will be represented by new arrivals such as Mercedes GLA and BMW X7.

7. Trend Towards Smaller, Light-weighing Vehicles

Strict government regulations to meet fuel emission standards and improvements in technology have led to a new trend towards light-weighing cars. Car manufacturers across the globe are focusing on producing light-weight cars using weight-reduction technologies such as carbon-nano composite.

Various trends will disrupt the automotive industry in 2019 ranging from shared cars to digital marketing and electric vehicles. All these trends will influence the operations of the automobile sector. All involved parties should be ready to take advantage of these patterns to grow their businesses.