Auto industry trends in the next three to five years

The auto industry is always changing one way or another, but it is being faced with some serious challenges, from greater regulation on emissions to addressing its role in the climate crisis. We asked our Zintro experts to explain what the next three to five years hold for the industry and in what direction does it seem to be moving.

Shubham, a contract manufacturing expert, says that in-order for the auto industry to go green it is not only the technology that is a challenge but the design aspect too. “A car’s commercial success hugely depends on look and feel. Until recently, emissions were not a big issue for designers. Aerodynamics was introduced for fuel efficiency and better handling; however, it was not related directly with green technology. Today, the forefront of the design is making a vehicle’s performance as green as possible by having a look and feel commerciality,” he says.

An example of the same is the fluidic concept that is introduced by Hyundai, Shubham proposes. “Ford and Mazda have incorporated similar designs and the trend is picking up the pace. Cars will need to be as light in weight as they can be. The material science needs further development empowering designers to produce both interiors and exterior trims, not only safe but also having design harmony. However, the technical aspect of a vehicle performance currently is the dominating factor in-terms of facing the major wrath of greater regulations on emissions. Even if it is achieved, in the end it will be the design that moves this industry commercially.” he explains.

Doanh Tran, an expert in fuel cells, says that in the short term, hybrids (start stop, plug in, etc.) are complex solutions that come with a high price tag and limited volume production. “The landscape of the automotive industry will evolve even more as the Chinese auto manufacturers enter the global market. Natural gas vehicles are better long-term emission solutions (and economical), but with the very limited fueling infrastructure, it will be too much liability for the auto manufacturers to try to resolve this dilemma alone,” Tran explains. “Diesel vehicles will appeal to customers when the price of gasoline is much greater than the price of diesel to justify a higher initial cost of the diesel engine. In the US, the customers are not motivated to pay more or deal with inconvenience unless there is an economic benefit. This means the status quo will stand unless gasoline exceeds the $6 per gallon mark in most states.”

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By Maureen Aylward

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