Infographic: Four Disruptive Trends Transforming the Auto Industry

02.04.20 | Blog | By:

Auto Trends

From a creeping crawl to a speeding bullet, the automobile has rapidly improved—and so have consumer demands.

The Ford Model T revolutionized the industry, and consumer demand catapulted it into one of the longest production runs in history.

However, consumers gradually began to desire more than just one reliable, wallet-friendly option. Today, numerous models are discontinued each year—and new features are frequently introduced to keep up with changing preferences.

Shifting Gears

This infographic from AutoTRADER.ca, Canada’s largest automotive marketplace, explores some current trends shaping the auto industry: luxury trucks, electric vehicles, millennial habits, and online research.

1. The Rise of Luxury Trucks

Most people associate trucks with off-roading and rugged work. But over the years, they’ve become much more—consumers are starting to see them as status symbols.

In addition to power, luxury trucks have features that maximize comfort and style:

  • Spacious seating
  • Large chrome wheels
  • Advanced safety features
  • Rear-seat touch screen entertainment
  • Motorized tailgates and running boards
  • Panoramic sunroofs

While most vehicle segments have seen a decline in the market, luxury trucks have grown in market share.

High-end trucks offer both functional strength and premium features, and continue to drive growth in the auto industry.

2. Electric Vehicles: A Small but Growing Market

Electric vehicle (EV) listings are growing from low initial numbers, and their overall market share is still limited. However, the demand for EVs is growing rapidly—from 2017 to 2018, AutoTRADER.ca’s EV market doubled.*

Note: AutoTRADER.ca’s EV market excludes hybrids.

On top of that, EVs are selling faster. In 2018, it took 15 days for an EV listing to turnover, compared to 27 days in 2016.

What has caused this surge in popularity?

  • Environmental Impact: EVs are nearly five times more efficient at converting stored energy than traditional cars.
  • Lower Costs: On average, battery EVs save Canadian households about 71% in annual fuel and maintenance.
  • Less Traffic: Certain areas like British Columbia, Ontario, California, and New York offer high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access to single-occupant EVs.

As various regions take steps to remove gas-powered vehicles from the roads, the EV market will continue to expand.

3. Millennial Purchasing Habits

While many think that millennials aren’t buying cars, the data tells a different story. In the first quarter of 2018, millennials accounted for all new vehicle sales growth in the North American auto industry.

Millennials are still buying vehicles—they’re just waiting longer than previous generations did. Cash-strapped millennials are up to nine times more likely to delay a vehicle purchase until they’re triggered by a life change such as switching jobs, getting married, or having children.

Main Purchase Trigger by Generation

Note: numbers may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

To help with purchase decisions, millennials refer to video content and draw on personal networks. They also prefer to visit online marketplaces over physical dealerships.

4. Online Research

Millennials aren’t the only ones turning to the internet for help: roughly eight in ten buyers use online sources to help them simplify the decision-making process.

Automotive marketplaces are the most popular resource—used by 77% of online buyers. What makes them so popular?

  • Pricing guidelines give buyers confidence in the fair market price they can expect to pay
  • Comparison tools help buyers choose the body type, make, and model of their next vehicle
  • Reviews by owners and industry experts provide unbiased opinions
  • Location-based searches help buyers find local listings from dealers and private sellers

All of this easily accessible information has made online marketplaces the go-to source for consumers’ automobile needs.

Originally published on Visual Capitalist.

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