Dec 22 2020
The Top 7 Automotive Trends for 2021
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way people across the globe travel. Here are the top trends we have seen in the car market over the past year and how it will influence transport and car design in 2021.
Cleaning functions in cars becoming standard
When it comes to car innovation, we typically think to new autonomous driving features. 2020 has instead driven the growth in demand for cars becoming a centre of health and cleanliness. This has seen the introduction of cleaning features such as in-vehicle air purifiers and self-cleaning car surfaces.
Rental car market decline
With a severe reduction in travel, the demand for rental cars has understandably dropped. The car rental market revenue in Australia is even down 50.6% from 2019 revenue figures. Hertz bankruptcy announcement earlier this year shows the sign of the times for the market. Even before the pandemic, car rental companies have been struggling with the rise of car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.
Less people commuting
We have seen a transition from working in an office to working from home, especially with work from home orders being in place for majority of the year. The commute from the bedroom to the home office requires significantly less travel in comparison to the traditional work commute. Therefore, we have seen a sharp decline in the number of travellers over the past year.
Shift away from public transport to personal vehicle ownership
Due to health and safety concerns, people are removing themselves from overcrowded public areas. Public transport services especially are experiencing a decline in foot traffic. While each state government assures us that public transport is cleaned thoroughly and regularly, there is still a level of paranoia that surrounds commuters as to how safe it is to use them. Instead, there is a growing preference for people to be in control of their environment. Hence, we can see a rise in car ownership over the past year.
Increase in demand for used cars
Demand for second-hand cars was booming during the pandemic, with Australians preferring to drive their own cars instead of using public transport. Used cars provided a more affordable alternative to purchasing a brand-new car. In addition, manufacturing plants across Asia and Europe closed during late 2019 to early 2020. Paired with the harsher restrictions imposed on imports, this resulted in long delays for shipments of new cars. Forcing many Australian’s to wait for a longer period for their new car to arrive. Therefore, car buyers opted for a used vehicle as they could purchase and drive them immediately.
Online sales to grow
As dealerships were forced to close their doors and consumers changing preference to shop online, dealers invested heavily in their ability to sell online. Pre-pandemic, to buy a car online you’d refer to Carsales or Tesla. Now, many car brands made majority of their fleet available online, some even launched new cars entirely online.
Novated leasing to grow
As people shift away from public transport to owning their own vehicle, novated leasing is expected to become much more popular too. As a private lease, it provides an opportunity for an employee to own and drive their own car in an affordable way. More, with less people coming into the office, employers are expected to move away from pool cars in a company fleet, instead offering an allowance to employees for a new car of their choice.