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Since the outset of the global pandemic in 2020, countless industries have changed. While the pandemic served as the primary driver of evolution in some sectors, it accelerated the adoption of already emerging trends in others — including the auto industry.
Several significant trends have begun to reshape the automotive industry as we know it. Three of the most notable are:
1. Focus on Green Initiatives
Electric vehicle purchases are on the rise. There were 59,554 plug-ins (both electric and hybrids) sold in the U.S. in February 2022, representing a 68.9% increase compared to February 2021.
In response to this growing demand for EVs, automakers are doubling down on investments in green initiatives. They are working to improve the efficiency of existing models and exploring new ways to satiate demand for zero-emission vehicles.
2. Growing Popularity of Mobility as a Service
The phrase “mobility as a service” is a broad term for services that allow consumers to buy short-term mobility. It provides an alternative to purchasing personally owned vehicles. Examples of these services include ride-sharing platforms and short-term electric bike rental programs, just to name a few.
According to Statista, the mobility as a service market will exceed $230 billion by 2025. These predictions indicate a shift in consumer habits from traditional vehicle buying to more flexible solutions. An increase in remote work opportunities and the rise of more convenient food delivery services fuel the growth of the “mobility as a service” market.
3. Increased Use of Digital Sales Experiences
Modern consumers have grown accustomed to making purchases by simply clicking a few buttons on their laptops or smart devices. As a result, they have come to expect that all transactions will be equally as efficient and frictionless. This expectation directly conflicts with the traditional car-buying experience, which typically takes hours to navigate.
While it was possible to purchase a car online before the pandemic, fewer than one out of ten vehicles were purchased online. By 2021, approximately 30% of U.S. car purchases were completed online. Buying a car online is faster, more efficient, less stressful, and easier. That’s why this trend is expected to continue well past 2022.
Those operating within the automotive space or ancillary sectors should keep a close eye on these three trends, as they are poised to reshape this economically important industry.
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