2015 was a record year for the auto industry–in terms of sales–and 2016 promises to be even better! The price of materials is lower than ever, technology has made impressive advancements in terms of vehicle safety and luxury, and gas prices are once again dropping.
Here are a few of the trends predicted for the automobile industry for the coming year:
- Incentives will be better than ever. Vehicle sales are still on the rise, but the growth in sales is projected to slow down this year. This means fewer people will be buying new vehicles, so dealerships will have to start offering better incentives to entice new customers. In 2015, incentives on new cars rose to as much as $3,000, the highest it’s been since the early 2000s. Auto makers will have to fight harder in order to get their piece of the sales action, meaning it’s going to be a great year to buy a car!
- Volkswagen will stay in hot water. Since the announcement that VW rigged more than 600,000 Audi and VW vehicles to pass American emissions tests, the company has taken a hit in many areas. The Justice Department filed a civil complaint against VW, and sales have fallen visibly–this at a time when overall vehicle purchases were on the rise. Worse still, VW still hasn’t put forward a plan detailing how to correct the problem. If they don’t make a move soon, 2016 will be an even worse year then 2015!
- Used car sales will rise. Used and pre-owned car sales are expected to rise this year, almost to the point that they will compete with the sale of new cars. More than 3 million leases are up this year, meaning dealerships will be flooded with cars in good condition that they can no longer sell as “new”. Certified Pre-Owned car sales will go up, which is good for millennials, who are more likely to buy used than new.
- Big vehicles will still sell well. SUVs, pick-ups, and crossover vehicle sales are expected to remain fairly steady. This is due largely to the fact that gas prices have remained fairly low–around $2 per gallon–but the fuel economy of those larger vehicles is another major contributing factor. Americans love their big cars, including compact crossover vehicles, which have surpassed the sale of mid-sized sedans.
- Technology will play a larger role. General Motors intends to invest $500 million in Lyft. Toyota, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler are looking to introduce Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into their vehicle entertainment systems. Tesla is launching a cheaper vehicle. All of these point to one fact: technology continues to play an important role in the automobile industry!