Automotive trends to expect in the 2020s

Automotive trends to expect in the 2020s

2020 is the beginning of a decade set for great change in the automotive industry, with disruption similar in magnitude to the dawn of the smartphone in the telecoms industry. Cars of the future are set to be electrified, autonomous, shared, connected and yearly updated (or “eascy”), according to a report from professional services company PWC.

The report looks ahead over the coming decade and the changes in key US, European and Chinese markets. Some of the key findings:

      • Over 55% of all new car sales could be electrified by 2030
      • 40% of the mileage driven in Europe could be covered by autonomous vehicles and more than one in three kilometres could involve sharing concepts.
      • Sharing, among other changes, will cause a drop in Europe’s vehicle inventory from 280 million to 200 million vehicles,
      • However, new car sales could rise by 34%, as cars of the future are used much more intensively and replaced more often.

What matters to car owners?

Another study, involving 8,000 people questioned by Brandwatch, found that only 7% said sustainability was important to them when choosing automotive brands. They state that few are prioritising sustainability at the moment, possibly because “vehicles that don’t harm the environment are very much still in the minority and could be seen as too expensive or not practically viable for consumers”.

So what attributes are most important to consumers?

      • Quality (30%)
      • Affordability (21%)
      • Friendly customer service (10%)
      • Convenience (8%)
      • Sustainability and fast customer service (both 7%)
      • Personalisation and innovative products or services (both 5%).

When it comes to what consumers think of the prospect of autonomous vehicles as we begin the new decade, only 9% globally think they will be the most transformative tech of 2020. So, while in the short-term it appears PWC’s “eascy” forecast doesn’t appear to resonate with consumers today, this could all change over the coming 10 years.

What further trends should dealers and manufacturers expect?

According to, some of the other trend to look for include:

      • Automotive software management tools, from AI-driven marketing through to digital sales forecasting and planning
      • More usage-based insurance packages and after-sales products reaching the market, with the rise of sensors, tracking devices and cameras in modern cars.
      • Similarly, these tracking and monitoring tools could be used to keep an eye on the health of a customer’s vehicle and warn them of parts that need checking or replacing.

These are only some of the ways the automotive industry will change in the following months and years. Although some of these trends have been around for a while, in the coming decade they will be embraced by a larger number of automotive businesses and their customers.


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