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The automobile industry is trending toward new technology such as fully electric cars, as well as large vehicles including SUVs and trucks. People are also becoming less inclined to buy individual vehicles, and autonomous vehicles are on the rise.  As a result, local manufacturing groups such as General Motors, are scrambling to adjust.

Automobile manufacturers are now rushing to perfect their models of non-combustion engines. General Motors announced that they plan to be fully electric as early as 2023. Shifting focus to new autonomous and electric vehicles, however, is not without challenges. GM plans to put five plants up for closure, lay off up to 14,000 workers in North America, and abandon many of its car models, including the Cruze at their Lordstown complex. General Motors believe electric cars are the future. If this is indeed true, then the industry’s landscape will look vastly different in just a few years.

As the industry trends towards electric cars, American consumers are also drifting away from traditional small cars and towards large vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. To marry the two trends, GM is developing new technology that can replace combustion engines.

Another trend in the automobile industry is a decreased need for individual vehicles. Thanks to ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, individual car ownership is declining in popularity. Thanks to a variety of easy transportation options available at their fingertips, people feel less of a need to own a car. Simply getting to a location has become more important than the vehicle someone takes to get there.

Autonomous vehicles are also seeing a rise in interest. This year Gov. John Kasich launched the Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program, a movement that allows autonomous cars on the road in certain Ohio communities. Some of the participating cities include Athens, Columbus, and Dublin. Youngstown, Cleveland and Dayton are also potentially interested in allowing automated vehicles.

New technology, such as electric cars, is changing the landscape of the automobile industry. American consumers are now more interested in larger vehicles than smaller cars. Ride sharing services have caused some people to stop viewing car ownership as a necessity. Autonomous cars are becoming a reality. Manufacturing companies are shutting down plants and readjusting their strategies to meet these future demands.