March '19

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28 THE SHOP MARCH 2019 Future Trends obstacle, but the biggest percentage of the discretionary money young people have is spent on their car. Wheels and tires are the most-bought accessories, followed by exterior body accessories. Most young drivers buy from a parts store to get advice face-to-face. They also (usu- ally) don't have a credit card yet, so are not able to buy online. Many are enthusiasts, but most don't have the skills or tools to install the items themselves, so they seek advice and help from the pros. They love their cars; even the non-acces- sorizers would rather give up their smart- phones than their cars. And they represent a huge part of the industry. For young drivers, working on cars is a social/social media experience, as is their research: they talk to friends, parts coun- terpersons, parents and grandparents; they visit manufacturers' websites and view images online. And, as people get older, their priorities change. The 18- to 29-year-old age group makes up about 33 percent of the accessories- buying population, and that category's sales have grown about 4 percent in the past five years. POWERTRAINS There's been a shift toward fewer cylinders with displacements under 3.0 liters. This is most likely driven more by government regulation and costs to drive a vehicle than by consumer demand. Turbochargers are growing because they deliver the one-two punch of more power and better fuel economy. EVs are growing: analysts predict that by 2025, 18 percent of vehicles will be hybrid or plug-in electric. But EVs are still limited by the number of charging stations and the time it takes to charge batteries. And even with that much growth, more than 80 percent of vehicles will still be powered by gasoline. By 2030, EV and other alternate tech- nologies likely will be improved, but the question that will remain is: "Will the people follow?" AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) will provide opportunities in the aftermarket, but a looming concern is that computers crash and, since the car is a computer, it could also crash. Other problems arise with who can access the vehicle's data. There has been a lot of R&D and invest- ment in autonomous vehicles, but some surveys say more than 70 percent of people have fears about being in one. (News stories about crashes help sup- port those fears.) Key ADAS technologies are associ- ated with collision avoidance. These mega trends will exercise the most influ- ence on how and where ADAS is adopted: • Urbanization • Climate Change • Shift in Power Economies • Demographics • Technology The potential market value has been Despite reports, younger drivers continue to show interest in aftermarket accessorization. Money is usually the biggest obstacle to customizing their vehicles. Drivers are very interested in new vehicle technology that keeps them safer on the road. (Photos courtesy MITO Corp.)

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