3 Trends for the Automotive Manufacturing Industry in 2017

The automotive manufacturing industry is currently seeing many changes as ride sharing increases and consumers demand more personalization and connectivity in their vehicles. Automotive industry analysis shows that companies are testing new technologies that can transform the auto industry drastically in terms of fuel efficiency, the Internet of Things (IoT), and safety.

2016 saw new-vehicle sales records hit record levels, in part due to credit availability, lower fuel prices, and lower unemployment rates. Though these high sales are not expected to continue in 2017, manufacturers are increasing innovation to keep sales strong.

3 Automotive Manufacturing Trends to Expect in 2017

1. More Connectivity: With the IoT providing a constant connectivity, the automotive industry cannot escape the user demand for staying connected. Driverswant to be connected and continue to demand technological advances in their vehicle. Manufacturers will be expected to increase connectivity when it comes to infotainment options (digital music, satellite radio, etc.) and safety (hands-free driving, automatic crash reporting, etc.). Drivers and passengers will demand continual improvements in technology in their vehicles.

2. Car Sharing Increase: With the increase in e-hailing and car sharing services, individuals have less of a need for a personal use vehicle. However, there will be a new demand for more personalized vehicles used for car sharing. For example, a car that has more passenger comfort will be used full-time as a ridesharing service. Manufacturers will see a demand in unique vehicles that are not for traditional use.

3. Going Green: In 2030, the share of electrified vehicles could range from 10-50% of new-vehicle sales. Increasingly, electric vehicles are becoming mainstream transportation, though this adoption is higher in cities than in rural areas. The automotive manufacturing process will have to find a way to build these cars at competitive prices compared to traditional vehicles, as individuals continue to want a “green” way to get around.

The Future of the Automotive Industry

When discussing the future of this sector, it is impossible not to talk about the autonomous car. For manufacturers, a self-driving car is a bit far off;instead, customers will most likely soon enjoy the “intelligent car.” This type of vehicle will have certain functions resembling the autonomous car such as self-braking, self-parking, and cruise control that is based on traffic and road conditions. Manufacturers are developing enhanced power steering and electronic parking brakes that will bring consumers one step closer to the autonomous car. While a fully self-driving vehicle is years away, manufacturers will continue to find ways to add to the “intelligent car,” allowing drivers more luxury and connectivity.


  • James Rawstron

    James Rawstron is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Rawstron has 20 years of marketing communications experience in the software, high tech, industrial, advanced manufacturing machinery and medical device markets. He has written numerous articles for B2B publications, including blogs for a variety of industries. Prior to joining Hexagon, Rawstron served as a web marketing professional at IBM and a Marketing Manager at Vector Software. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and European History from Union College of Schenectady, New York.

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