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OEMs, analysts share expected automotive trends that will shape 2024

Brand Innovators has compiled OEM insights heading into the new year related to anticipated artificial intelligence (AI), electric vehicle (EV) and sustainability trends.

Automaker perspectives on what lies ahead for the industry could prove useful for repairers who are looking forward to determining how to prepare their facilities for upcoming needs.

Angela Zepeda, Hyundai’s chief marketing officer, told Brand Innovators that she expects to see a number of technological advancements next year.

“Electric vehicles, which cooled in 2023, will continue to increase in adoption in 2024,” Zepeda said. “Autonomous vehicles, while still in their infancy, will begin to increase exponentially over the next couple of years. Cars will continue to become more connected, communicating with other software systems and collecting data from their surroundings.”

Those who’ve been keeping tabs on Hyundai’s activities throughout the past year might not find her comments entirely surprising. After all, it was announced in August that it and Kia would invest $50 million into a Canadian AI semiconductor company in order to integrate AI into future models.

Hyundai said the investment in Tenstorrent will allow its vehicles, as well as Kia and Genesis models, to incorporate robotics and advanced air mobility (AAAM) into auto designs.

In September, Hyundai said it was partnering with the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop a hydrogen economy and a $12.6 billion investment in EV and battery manufacturing facilities.

Brand Innovators also touched on how young drivers are seeking to lower their environmental impact, and that the public should expect more EVs and related infrastructure on the road next year.

Melody Lee, chief marketing officer at Mercedes-Benz USA, liked the transition to a long run.

“The shift to zero-emission mobility is a marathon not a sprint, and we are excited to see the automotive industry evolve as the move toward electrification continues,” Lee told Brand Innovators. “Dedicated charging networks will play a pivotal role in accelerating the widespread adoption of electric vehicles as we embrace a new era of mobility.

“We can also expect to see a growing emphasis on sustainability, both in terms of vehicle manufacturing processes and the use of eco-friendly materials to align with a growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.”

Kimerly Ito, Mitsubishi’s vice president of marketing, said the “challenge to cut through the clutter is as strong as ever” heading into the new year.

“I predict 2024 will see a mix of the scatter approach where some brands will try to reach every possible consumer, and the laser approach where brands will work harder to speak only to the customers who they think will purchase their product,” Ito told Brand Innovators.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs recently shared its Cars 2025 report, detailing seven trends it expects to see within the next 10 years.

This includes the ways in which cars are powered, Goldman Sachs said, noting that by 2025, 25% of cars sold will have electric engines. Today, only 5% of new cars sold are electric.

“Most of [future EVs sold] will be hybrids, and 95% of cars will still rely on fossil fuels for at least part of their power,” Goldman Sachs said. “That means automakers will need to make internal combustion engines more efficient to comply with new standards.”

Goldman Sachs also said the industry is likely to see a trend of OEMs seeking to reduce overall vehicle weight, which could be challenging given that safety standards typically require the use of heavier body parts.

“That conflict is starting to ease as companies explore materials that are both light and strong–including aluminum, high-tensile steel and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP),” its report said. “However, these are more expensive materials.

“CFRP, in particular, is primarily used only in specialty sports cars today. Over time, the push for fuel efficiency will mean the use of more aluminum and high-tensile steel.”

Its other predicted trends include:

    • A rise in self-driving cars;
    • An evolving supply chain, driven by the need for more fuel economic vehicles;
    • New tech innovators entering the automotive space;
    • A growing adoption of connected vehicles; and
    • The shift to emerging markets.

“The global automobile industry is at the brink of a major transformation,” Goldman Sachs’ report said. “Technology is driving this shift, shaped by demographics, regulatory and environmental pressures.

“By 2025, the car and the world around it will look quite different.”

As auto repair facilities navigate the shifting automotive landscape, some industry professionals are offering advice on how to prepare for upcoming changes.

Frank Terlep, Opus IVS ADAS Services vice president, shared the “formula for success” for collision repair small businesses last month during the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series at this year’s SEMA Show.

Terlep said it’s important to have mission and vision statements that change over time with the ideals and goals of the business.

The mission statement should cover the present state of your business and steps to follow that will lead to the future including objectives for your internal organization, Terlep said. The vision statement deals with present and close objectives that serve internal purposes.

The five building blocks of a great company are culture, purpose, accountability and authority, scorekeeping, and skills with the most important being culture, Terlep added.

“If you don’t treat your employees excellently, they’re not going to treat your customers excellently,” he said. “Your customers only love companies that love their employees. You can tell what kind of organization it is as soon as they are [employees] start to talk on the phone… Employees who don’t feel significant rarely make significant contributions.

“If you don’t care about your business and what you’re doing, my recommendation — go do something else.”


Featured illustration courtesy of metamorworks/iStock

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