2017 saw the first decline in auto sales in seven years. There are multiple reasons for this. One is that many consumers are choosing used cars over new cars. There has also been a decline in subprime lending. How will auto manufacturers respond in 2018? Here are some trends to expect in the months to come:
Since car manufacturers are trying to clear out 2017, they may offer some generous incentives to buyers. One incentive is a membership program where drivers can swap vehicles every week. Volvo, Cadillac, and Lincoln have started these programs in order to promote their brands.
Manufacturers are offering subscription bundles to consumers which include insurance, car tax, registration, maintenance, and roadside assistance into one monthly payment. However, the subscription fees do cost more than an average car payment.
SUVs and CUVS
Because of the growing popularity of SUVs and CUVs, we can expect to see more of them this year. Although SUVs are more expensive than sedans, consumers appreciate the practicality of these vehicles. Brandon Mason, the director of PricewaterhouseCooper, projected that there will be over 16 million SUVs and CUVs sold in the U.S. this year.
Due to the strict fuel economy standards, auto makers are beginning to design more electric cars. Electric cars emit absolutely no emissions and are completely safe to the environment. Electric car owners power their car by plugging it into a charging station. Every owner has a charging station at home, and charging stations can be found in cities all over the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. government offers a tax break to electric car owners. Environmentally-conscious consumers and those who dislike the high price of gasoline will be interested in the benefits of owning electric cars.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are powered by hydrogen gas and do not require charging. These cars are available for sale in California.
Many Millennials do not own vehicles due to the high cost and instead use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. These services are more affordable and convenient than taxi cabs.
Autonomous Driving Technology
Tesla created autonomous driving technology, where the car drives itself. This technology is not yet legal in the U.S., but many car manufacturers now offer driver-assisted technology. Car makers will most likely continue to explore this technology in the near future.