2023 Car Trends from NYK Daily

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There are several car trends for 2023 that you will want to consider if you are looking to buy or lease a new vehicle in the near future. These include the development of autonomous vehicles, the introduction of EVs and FCVs, and driver shortages in the US, Europe, and China.

EVs will weigh more than today’s heavier ICE vehicles

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the weight of electric vehicles. The reason for the concern is simple: EVs weigh more than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

An EV has lots of electronics and other components that add to its weight. These components can include batteries and chargers. In addition, EVs use more expensive, high-strength materials. A lithium-ion battery pack is bulky. This makes them heavier than other cars, which could weaken the pollution benefits of fuel economy.

As a result of the added weight, EVs can cause more road wear and tear. They may also pose a threat to pedestrians.

Besides the obvious safety implications, a heavier vehicle can create noise, impact bridges and other surfaces, and increase pollution. That’s not to mention the environmental impact of the extra energy required to charge a vehicle.

Interestingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of traffic fatalities increased by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2022. It estimates that 42,915 traffic deaths will occur in the next five years.

Although these numbers are relatively small, the weight of EVs is a serious issue. Electric trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup and Chevy Bolt EV weigh up to 1,600 pounds more than their gas-powered counterparts.

GMC’s Hummer EV Edition 1 will weigh up to 9,000 pounds. That’s three times the weight of a Honda Civic.

EV distribution centers reduce dealer’s pricing leverage

EV distribution centers aim to help car dealerships cut their costs. However, they could also decrease the leverage dealers have over pricing.

The electric vehicle revolution is underway. It’s fueled by a growing consumer appetite for EVs and the government’s commitment to the green economy. EVs are expected to reach a 53 percent share of all passenger cars sold by 2030. That means more consumers will need auto dealers’ help.

As the EV movement gains momentum, traditional auto dealerships will need to rethink their strategies. They will need to invest in specialized tools for electric powertrains and aftersales readiness. This includes training for maintenance and safety personnel.

Dealers can also partner with manufacturers to install charging infrastructure. In addition, manufacturers could subsidize EV-specific hardware for consumers. Similarly, manufacturers could provide incentives for fleets to purchase EVs. These programs work as market systems, with each fleet accruing credits for its use of clean energy.

While a number of OEMs are expanding the number of EVs produced and selling them direct to consumers, traditional dealerships are also attempting to improve their online sales channels. Some manufacturers have already adjusted dealer contracts to reflect a shift towards EVs.

Dealers can enhance their customer experience by offering a variety of EV-specific elements in their showrooms. These include EV-certified sales associates, EV experts, and EV-specific elements of the sales process. Alternatively, manufacturers can provide EVs and chargers to dealers to help them sell more EVs.

Driver shortages in the US, Europe, and China

The trucking industry has been grappling with driver shortages for decades. However, recent improvements in infrastructure and ocean freight reliability have eased some of the pressure. Still, the logistics industry is not attracting enough newcomers to replace the older generations.

Truck driver shortages are a global issue. According to the International Road Transport Union, there is a shortage of drivers in almost every country in the world.

For example, in the U.S., the American Trucking Association estimates that there is a shortage of approximately 80,000 drivers. This is a shortage that is predicted to increase to 160,000 by 2030.

Getting a driver to work for you isn’t easy. Even if you have a company that can pay higher wages, a shortage can make your job more challenging.

On a more positive note, the trucking industry has been able to hire some 30,000 new drivers this year. While this may be a small number compared to what the industry needs, it is an indication that the trucking industry is working to improve its workforce.

In Europe, there is an increasing need for new drivers. As such, companies have been working to attract foreign drivers. Despite the best efforts of the industry, many of them are unable to attract new drivers to fill their ranks.

The solution to the trucker shortage will include modifications to business practices and policies by carriers and shippers. Ultimately, however, it will take increased pay to entice drivers to stay in the trucking industry.

New and used car prices will diverge

Amid all the uncertainty about the economy and its impact on consumers, one thing has become clear: new and used car prices will diverge in 2023. Despite a run up in car prices over the past two years, consumer demand remains strong.

The supply of new cars has been weakening over the past few months. This has pushed demand for used vehicles upward. Nevertheless, the demand for more affordable vehicles is still strong.

Used vehicle prices have fallen significantly since the spring peak, although they are still far below their previous levels. Dealers are also more willing to negotiate with buyers. Ultimately, these changes are good for many buyers.

If prices continue to fall, many buyers will have less money to spend. Some people are trying to use their savings to cover auto loan costs. However, interest rates are rising, making auto leases more expensive.

Many carmakers are offering incentive programs to attract buyers. These incentives can range from a couple of percentage points to as high as 11% of the transaction price. It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to offer an extra $500 on top of the sticker price.

The supply of new cars will not be able to meet demand for years to come. In fact, the weighted average cost of raw materials for new vehicles will reach an all-time high in 2021. Until chip supply increases, all new car prices will remain high.

Autonomous driving

The future of mobility is becoming more complex. Electrification, autonomous driving, and shared mobility are emerging as key innovations. These innovations can disrupt traditional elements of the transportation industry, offering new value to drivers and innovative service providers.

Electric shared autonomous vehicles (also known as robo-taxis) are not yet mature, but could transform urban mobility. They could address congestion and pollution, and make it easier and more affordable to ride.

Self-driving cars could also save lives and lower medical costs. Their potential impact on the auto industry is enormous. In the United States alone, autonomous vehicles could bring in $800 billion in 2030. It could also change the way the industry views safety.

Connected cars are nodes of vast information networks. They offer improved experiences for drivers and businesses, as well as new value to auto manufacturers. A connected car also opens up new opportunities for innovative service providers.

Several players are demonstrating driverless vehicles. Some are already operating in commercial mode, and some are planning to launch. One example is Google Waymo. Another is Nuro, which specializes in driverless deliveries. Both companies have pushed for changes to the rules.

New regulations could have a major impact on the auto industry, but also on cities and insurance industries. For example, city revenues could decline if licensing fees are not collected. On the other hand, autonomous cars can cover all critical directions and reduce local vehicle emissions.

FCVs offer a more extensive driving range and recharge more quickly

Although fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) offer a number of advantages over their EV counterparts, they have been held back by a lack of infrastructure. To date, there are only a small handful of models on the market. The good news is that there are more than a few on the way.

FCVs are also more affordable than their EV counterparts. Fuel cells are manufactured from renewable sources, allowing consumers to purchase a vehicle that emits none of the carbon monoxide found in standard gasoline. Another plus is that they recharge much quicker. For instance, you can fill a hydrogen fuel cell at the pump, and get a whopping 300-400 miles on a single tank.

However, building a fuel cell infrastructure is not cheap, and it depends on the level of adoption that the technology achieves. It may take a decade or two for green hydrogen production to become economically viable. While the market is growing, it’s still a long ways off from ubiquity.

The oh so small number of FCVs that are on the road today can be traced to a handful of large automakers. Hyundai Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Company, and Honda Motor Co Ltd are just some of the major players in the FCV arena. Several Chinese manufacturers have also taken the initiative.

With a price tag of around $2.35 per gallon, gasoline is the fuel of choice, and a new vehicle plugged in will cost you around the same as your average gasoline powered automobile.

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