Towards the end of 2017, the motor industry is making very significant strides. The revolution has, however, been characterized by negative impacts on the environment and the human health. The industry has also been experiencing quick changes in technology which have challenged the basis of the motor business globally.
Below are 5 of the trendiest automotive threads of 2017:
1. Vehicle engine electrification
Engine electrification has come to reality with the hybrids and other electric vehicles are now prevalent on the roads. So far, only 100 electronic vehicles have been registered in South Africa but this is bound to increase. As from 2018. Volvo announced a move to stop the production of ICE while Nissan released a new generation Leaf which has a recorded 378km which is a significant enhancement. Jaguar also announced that by 2019, their i-Pace EV would be arriving in South Africa and also an advancement of their E-Pace to a hybrid. Mercedes Benz then announced the arrival of their EQ which is an EV model. By end of 2017, Tesla intends to increase production of their Model 3 by 20, 000 units each month. By 2040, the UK government has threatened to ban all the ICE but Norway intends to do that by 2025.
2. Decline in diesel’s usage
Outdoor air pollution from diesel fumes has been identified to cause over three million premature deaths worldwide and around 75000 people in Europe annually. Even though SA does not have solid facts about their state, their low-quality diesel fuels are likely to have more harmful impacts. The introduction of petrol-electric hybrids, EVs, and super-efficient petrol engines comes at a time when city halls and European regulators strive to ban diesel usage in their cities. In 2025, diesel sales are speculated to fall to 10% in the US and 4% globally.
3. South African vehicle market advancements
Negative new-vehicle-market growth in the last 18 months is changing course. National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSAA) speculates even better results towards the year-end. June, July, August, and September reports, however, noted the growth of 0.9%, 4.1%, 6.7% and 7% respectively despite prevailing conditions in the economy which further depicts business confidence.
4. Split-spoke diamon-cut wheels
The split-spoke diamond-finished rims have also brought in a whole new trend in the exterior finishing of the vehicles. The recently launched Range Rover Velar, New Audi A5, Rolls-Royce Ghost and several Mercedes models have already embraced this great trend. Those on the new Audi A7 are, however, the most remarkable.
5. Autonomous cars – a complicated matter
Automation has gone to another level with cars like Volvo S90 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class having automated braking, steering or acceleration. By touching the indicator, the Benz will even change lanes by itself. Once governments and manufacturers resolve their liability and ethics matters, driverless cars will flood the roads. The BMW 5-series, Volvo S90, and the E-Class prove the practicability of this trend despite the challenges.