Consumer trends have a significant impact on the automotive industry. Companies must continuously look ahead and embrace new technologies in their business strategies to meet consumers’ evolving needs and desires. In this context, assessing how customer tastes and behaviors drive automobile design and branding innovation and how automakers adjust to these changes to remain relevant in an ever-changing market is crucial.
The Role of Branding and Designs in the Automotive Industry
Consumers choose brands based on product quality. Once there is value, they would wait in a long preordering queue. No wonder over 200,000 buyers could line up within a month to preorder Tesla’s Cybertrunk. Elon Musk’s brainchild had managed to stick the value of an electric vehicle into people’s minds. They also crushed some barriers that may arise, such as the availability of charging outlets, by providing Tesla charging points across the cities. The brand’s perceived value drove up sales and earned it a great spot in the EV market.
Unlike in the 1950s, modern car makers prioritize aesthetics because vehicles’ aesthetics and designs can also determine whether customers buy them. Modern vehicles’ outer metal or carbon fiber shells are shaped to meet a laundry list of requirements, including aerodynamics, packaging, safety, cost, and more. Manufacturers are looking for ways to streamline processes and create a brand that is powerful and appealing to the eyes.
Structural bonding is one of the best body shop connecting methods for car branding. Carmakers now use bonding solutions like metal glue adhesives to make seamless cars, especially where welding may be disruptive. Aside from being a proven, high-performance way to join mixed metal surfaces, adhesives have some branding benefits, such as making car bodies stiffer, bonding dirty metal parts, and being able to withstand high temperatures. This is critical to making a vehicle appealing to science and the eyes of consumers in the 21st century.
Brand positioning is also crucial in the automotive industry. Strong car brands are known for providing value. Branding influences customer purchases. For instance, Toyota has positioned itself in the mass-market car niche. Just think of getting a fuel-efficient passenger car; the first that crosses your mind will likely be a Toyota Corolla. Expensive advertising cannot compensate for weak brands and undifferentiated products.
How Consumer Trends Affect EV Sales and Connected Vehicles
EVs are a worldwide automotive trend. A recent 2022 report by the IEA revealed that electric vehicles make up one in seven car purchases worldwide. The car market is changing at various rates. Hybrid technology outpaces full electric vehicles (BEVs) in most nations, saving China, where one in four car purchases are electric. The transition to electric vehicles is driven mostly by a strong consumer belief that it would greatly lower car running costs. This is true despite messages from the government about the need to combat climate change.
Quartz reports show that by the end of 2022, global electric car sales rose to about 60% compared to the same period in 2021. That totals around 10.1 million units out of 75 million global car sales. The sales were largely driven by China, with over 5.9 million sales, and Europe, with around 2.6 million units. US sales more than doubled relative to the first quarter of 2020, clocking 920,000 units. Despite the US lag in EV sales, 2022 saw a lot of improvement, considering the general decline of car sales, partly due to rising inflation and higher interest rates.
Consumers are now shopping for connected vehicles. A report from Statista shows that we had about 84 million connected cars in the US as of 2021, projected to exceed 305 million by 2035. That has led to an increase in demand for connectivity services. The 2020 McKinsey consumer study on autonomous driving, connection, electrification, and shared mobility (ACES) found that 37% of respondents would switch vehicle manufacturers to enjoy better connectivity services.
How Companies are Adapting to Consumer Trends
Popular carmakers adapt to consumer trends by embracing new technologies and shifting their focus towards electric vehicles and connected vehicle services.
One company that has been successful in adapting to consumer trends is Tesla. Tesla has been at the forefront of the shift toward electric vehicles and has built a strong brand around its commitment to sustainability and innovation. No wonder Tesla occupies the US EV market, with a 64% market share as of 2022, as cited by INSIDE EVs. Its success comes from its ability to anticipate and adapt to customer desires. Part of their goal is to put fully automated EV vehicles with full connectivity into the hands of consumers, and they are achieving that by the day.
Tesla builds automobiles like software. These guys make automobiles by building software on proprietary hardware, similar to how Apple creates the iPhone or Microsoft uses Intel CPUs. Tesla can update its vehicle software every couple of weeks. They are more like Google or Amazon than a manufacturer of high-end car innovations.
Overall, staying attuned to consumer preferences and behaviors helps automakers make informed decisions about their design and branding strategies that will help them remain competitive in this dynamic industry.