January '19

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JANUARY 2019 THE SHOP 13 higher costs of imports. Not only could affected companies be hurt more than expected, but an erosion in business confi- dence due to heightened uncertainty would weigh on spending decisions." The impact on business costs is moder- ated somewhat, she notes, by the strong dollar. Here are some other potential problems peeking over the horizon, for businesses of all stripes: Rising interest rates Higher costs of money pose a challenge for everyone, especially if the Federal Reserve raises rates too quickly. "Rising interest rates may not cause much impact in the short term," says Tom Palisin, executive director of The Manufacturers' Associa- tion, a York, Pennsylvania-based regional employers' group with more than 370 member companies ( "But, later in 2019, the higher cost of money may start to constrict the availability of capital." Wage hikes Here's the negative flip side of low unem- ployment. "With the economy chugging demonstrating the importance of safety in the minds of American drivers. In-car mobile Wi-Fi hotspots are also a top selling point, with 6 percent of respondents ranking it the most impor- tant feature in their next vehicle purchase. In general, women view high-tech driving innovations with more skepti- cism than men: • 59 percent of women are uncom- fortable with the concept of a fully autonomous car, compared to 33 percent of men. • 80 percent of women would be uncomfortable with a car that had no steering wheel, compared to 53 percent of men. • 27 percent of women say they would be uncomfortable with windshields that integrate augmented reality, com- pared to 14 percent of men. Newer forms of engine technology are also important to Americans. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents say they are likely to consider buying an electric vehicle in the next 12 months, which is significantly higher than the less-than-2-percent of new cars sold today that are electric. When shopping for their next car, 12 percent of Americans say having either a hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cell option would be the most important factor. Half of respondents (52 percent) say they are likely to consider a traditional gasoline vehicle in the next 12 months, while 30 percent are likely to consider a hybrid and 21 percent would consider hydrogen. "America's love affair with cars is far from over, but more and more of us are con- sidering a shift away from the traditional vehicles we grew up with," says Oates. "As other transit models broaden our mobility and provide more efficient, convenient alternatives to driving, automotive com- panies will need to step up the pace to innovate in different ways and keep more Americans behind the wheel." DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME ROGUESERIES.COM | 800-274-8437 | THERMOTEC.COM SUPPRESSOR MAT BRINGING THE BEST HEAT AND SOUND SOLUTIONS TO THE PERFORMANCE INDUSTRY ROGUE SERIES TURBO COVER/KIT EXHAUST INSULATING WRAPS

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