Top trends to expect from carmakers in 2023

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February 1, 2023 by Cedric Jackson

Top trends to expect from carmakers in 2023​

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Image credit: Depositphotos.com
This year could be another difficult year for automakers and dealers, according to forecasts.

While supply chain disruptions that prevailed in 2021 and 2022 are easing, the situation is not yet expected to return to a pre-COVID state this year. Furthermore, rising predictions of the global recession are putting a dampener on sales forecasts and estimated volumes.

The global auto industry is projected to make almost 83.6 million units of new vehicle sales in 2023. This is a mere 5.6% increase over 2022, according to S&P Global Mobility. On the back of this modest increase, automakers’ overall profitability will fall. As a result, they need to tighten their pricing policies to cater to customers with shrinking wallets.

Nevertheless, 2023 is still predicted to bring some exciting developments for the industry. Here’s a look at some of the top trends we’re expecting.

New car prices will drop​

The price of new cars will drop as automakers and dealerships are forced to cater to the reduced purchasing power of customers. This will be a shift from recent OE strategy that saw them focus production on more expensive vehicles during the height of chip shortages. Even if the much-vaunted recession hasn’t hit in full swing, customers will understandably be cautious and seek the best deal. They will intensively research, shop around, compare and negotiate.

The used car market will ease​

COVID-19 saw new car prices skyrocket as supply chain disruptions and global pandemonium created shortages and delays. Conversely, this placed pressure upon the used car market, sending used car prices upwards. With the easing of supply shortages and delays, used car prices are expected to plateau and decline throughout the year. For consumers, it’s probably a great time to think about purchasing a used car.

The EV, hybrid push will intensify​

This year, we will see several EV models hit the market along with EV variants of existing gasoline and gasoline hybrid models. Chevrolet has several planned, including the Silverado EV as a direct competitor to Ford’s F-150 Lightning. Speaking of Ford, the Explorer EV is also expected to be released. Other popular ICE vehicles are also being made available as electrics, such as the GMC Sierra EV and Jeep Wrangler EV. The trend here is an increase in larger vehicles being made available, which also includes the Porsche Macan EV and Tesla Cybertruck. Other brands are also expanding offerings, such as BMW and its i7; Kia and the EV9. Luxury brands are not exempt with the Maserati Grecale Folgore and the Mercedes-Benz EQG also expected to arrive this year as well.

EVs aren’t everyone’s preference, and automakers know that. They can’t convert their iconic ICE-engine nameplates into EVs, as Ford is finding out with the Mustang Mach-E. Hence, hybridization offers a win-win situation. Some notable names becoming available in hybrid form include the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, Porsche 911 Hybrid, BMW XM, Aston Martin Valhalla, Lexus UX, Mercedes-AMG C63, Alfa Romeo Tonale and Genesis G90.

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Image credit: Depositphotos.com

More autonomous vehicles​

Autonomous vehicles will become more mainstream in 2023, at least in a semi-autonomous capacity for most. Many cars, trucks, and SUVs offer some Level 1 and Level 2 autonomous vehicle features. You’ll get adaptive cruise control with stop-go, lane centring, lane following, automatic overtaking, and traffic sign recognition. As autonomous tech becomes more commonplace, expect to see more cars driving themselves, at least in part.

Vehicles will talk to each other and their surroundings​

The rise of the connected car has been happening for a few years now and is projected to continue through 2023. Vehicles will talk to each other, enabling smarter navigation, traffic jam avoidance, and hazard reporting. Our relationship with cars will change, with connected cars becoming prevalent.

EVs will be easier to recharge​

One of the largest hurdles to purchasing an EV is the lack of charging infrastructure. Many remain hesitant to go electric even with the increasing number of EVs with more than 300 miles of range.

It’s true that EV charging still won’t achieve the same speed as pumping a full tank of gas. But the proliferation of fast-charging EV networks is expected to increase exponentially in 2023. Forbes expects to observe a reduction in home charging. And more EVs will receive their top-ups at workplaces, restaurants, shopping centers and dedicated charging stations.

The sales experience will change​

Customers will still travel to a dealership to purchase a car, but they will no longer physically shop around. Instead, they’ll use online tools to find the best deals around and research their preferred model and spec. Then, car shoppers will utilize virtual showroom experiences to check out their prospective new car. Chances are that when a customer walks onto the dealer, they already know what they want.

Demand for aftermarket accessories will increase​

According to Business Motoring, an 8.5 per cent increase in the demand for aftermarket accessories, such as seat covers, wheels, tires, and tech gadgets, is forecasted for 2023. While car shoppers may be more price-savvy, they will still want to customize their vehicles. The prevalence of high accessory prices, coupled with relatively limited choice at dealerships, will lead to a rise in aftermarket accessories purchased from third-party online and offline vendors.

Carmakers will dabble in subscription services​

BMW created an uproar in 2022 when they started charging $18 per month for using the heated front seats on some connected BMWs. Tesla also has the capability to upgrade or downgrade cars via an OTA update. Automakers have been toying with the subscription-based service idea for years and are cautiously experimenting with it now. Customers don’t like the idea of having to pay more for something that’s already installed in their car. You can expect the aftermarket to find ways to crack these systems, too.

2023 will be interesting and remembered​

The year is already shaping up to be an interesting year and may well be a pivotal point in automotive history. Auto prices may drop marginally. There will be more EVs and hybrids on sale and charging them will be easier. Furthermore, the sales experience will evolve, the aftermarket will thrive, and car enthusiasts will have plenty to talk about.
 
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