Category Research: Automotive Trends

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Category Research: Automotive Trends

Some current trends in the automotive industry in Canada include demand for greener automobiles as well as the demand for technologically advanced vehicles. Some other trends in the Canadian automotive industry include the popularity of auto shows, the use of automobiles as digital platforms, and the use of carbon fiber.

Greener Automobiles

  • Recent trends published by the Canadian Autoworld indicates that Canadians are demanding greener cars at record rates.
  • Green cars are cars that cover more kilometers per gallon of combustible fuel and emits fewer pollutants when compared to conventional diesel or gas vehicles.
  • The rising demand for greener cars in several provinces of Canada exists because some of the provinces stipulate a minimum emission requirement, and green vehicles are known to beat the "minimum threshold" and often eliminate exhaust emissions. Greener cars either make use of electric power or hybrid power systems.
  • Some companies that have keyed into the demand for greener cars in Canada and offer electric or hybrid-powered vehicles include Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Ford, BMW, and Tesla. These companies produce some of the "most eco-friendly cars" found in Canada. Nissan, Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and BMW all have a physical presence in Canada.
  • A recent publication by the government of Canada states that one of the companies leading the trend to keep the future of automobiles in Canada greener is Tesla Motors. Tesla has partnered with Jeffrey Dahn's lithium-ion energy density research to design electric motors that power light as well as heavy vehicles.

Demand for Technologically Advanced Vehicles

  • Trends published by the Canadian Autoworld reveal that Canadians are demanding technologically advanced cars at record rates.
  • Canadian companies are paving the way when it comes to developing "transformative automotive technologies." Apart from demanding technologically advanced vehicles, Canada has expertise in terms of emerging vehicle technologies. This expertise is attracting significant investors in autonomous as well as connected vehicle research from companies such as GM, Ford, and tech giants such as Uber, Google as well as Nvidia.
  • Apart from the fact that people are attracted to connected cars that conform to their digital lifestyles, a recent article by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute Canada states that human error is responsible for about 90% of crashes. However, technologically advanced automobiles such as autonomous vehicles are attractive because they can reduce crash rates as well as insurance costs of cars by 90%.
  • One of the companies known to have taken advantage of the demand for technologically advanced vehicles is Audi. Some versions of the Audi Q3 are sold for a price lower than $40,000 within Canada, although the car has a digital instrument cluster. The car also has a modern touch-system technology as well as driving-assist systems, a park program, and an adaptive cruise control system.

The Popularity of Auto Shows

  • Trends published by Wheels Canada have revealed that there is continuous popularity of auto shows in Canada, which indicates a high interest-level in automobiles as well as auto culture.
  • Auto shows have become very popular in Canada and present an avenue for automakers to display their "tech-heavy cars" as well as technologies to consumers at the venue of the shows.
  • In 2010, Toronto received about 258,652 visitors for its auto show, a figure that rose to 357,745 in 2019. And the number is predicted to increase in 2020 as more car fans within the region were probably left hungry to attend an auto show in Toronto because there was no show in Detroit, Michigan, for them to participate in earlier this year.
  • Another reason auto shows have remained popular in Canada is due to the desire among people to view vehicles carefully, and also partake in a "shared automotive experience."

The Use of Automobiles as Digital Platforms

  • One of the trends published by Wheels Canada states that Canadians are using automobiles as digital platforms.
  • A digital platform refers to any electronic tool used for communication and may include a desktop, a mobile device, social software, email software, among other tools.
  • Modern vehicles are not isolated units, as traditional cars were isolated. Modern automobiles are integrated digital platforms on the highway used to monitor someone's driving activity, inform drivers about mechanical deficiencies as well as repairs, provide GPS information. They are also used to assist with issues of driving safety (via lane-departure systems, brake assist, forward collision warning systems, etc.)
  • Modern vehicles also provide infotainment services as well as facilitate remote software updates. Vehicles designed in 2020 will be more connected to the digital lifestyle of drivers.
  • One of the organizations leading the trend in the use of automobiles as digital platforms in Canada is Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA). In 2020, APMA showcased a customized Karma Revero GT, which contained cutting-edge digital-security tech features developed within Waterloo, Ontario. These features present a platform for car owners to communicate via electronic voice data that is protected using hybrid cryptography.
  • Another company leveraging the trend of using cars as digital platforms is John Cooper. The company recently planned the supply of 59 pieces of a limited-edition of high-performance John Cooper Works GP to the Canadian market for the 2020 year. The car comes with a full range of comfort, convenience, as well as a platform for "infotainment and communication."

Use of Carbon Fiber

  • Another recent trend published by Wheels Canada states that a current trend in the automotive industry in Canada is the use of carbon fiber.
  • Carbon fibers are becoming popular in the design of several cars, although their use in sports cars dating back to 1981. One of the reasons carbon fiber is becoming popular in automobile manufacture is its strength as well as lightweight. It is about five times lighter than steel but ten times stronger than it.
  • Before now, automakers have sparingly utilized carbon fiber in hoods, roofs as well as body panels of some cars. However, some automakers are already using it for the entire inner-body structures. Volvo is one of the manufacturers widely using carbon fiber in its entire body structure for the new "Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid" as well as Polestar 2 EV. Both cars will contain carbon fiber in their inner construction. General Motors also plans to use carbon fiber in a new bed assembly for the "Silverado/Sierra platform."
  • Ford has already used carbon fiber to design performance wheels for Mustang GT350R. There are indications that more automakers may employ carbon fiber material for car manufacture in 2020 and beyond.

Research Strategy

The study tries to uncover current trends in the automotive industry in Canada and examines 2020 trends published by Canadian Autoworld, Wheels Canada, the government of Canada, among other resources. The study focused on broad industry-wide trends that are impacting the automotive industry or sector as a whole. The study considers trends about the automotive industry in Canada published by reputable Canadian resources and been implemented by automobile companies or affecting several consumers within the automobile industry as worthy of inclusion.