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Over the next two years, two hundred cars, including both new models and updates will be rolled out. As is common with the auto industry, a lot of these models will only feature minor changes, some merely cosmetic.
However, there are a few important trends in the auto industry to be observed in the coming year’s schedule.
Car design is becoming louder
The “classic look” that many a car enthusiasts talk fondly about is slowly fading away. It is instead being replaced by visually striking elements that are killing the concept of understated appeal. This can be seen in everything from bold ornamentation, overuse of LED, bold grilles, and an unappealing mish-mash of chrome and color accents.
At the same time, as brands tend to stick to their own style guidelines – these aspects are not incorporated into the product’s body, but translate to merely a cosmetic covering. This can be seen in the Audis’s lines and Mercedes’ new attempt at killing their timeless look with an attempt to look young and chic.
Cadillac and Volvo are still retaining their style integrity, along with Volkswagen, still loyal to its simple, functional appealing design. Ford is the biggest casualty, entirely stripping away the muted appeal of its exteriors with flashy cockpits.
Models are becoming smaller
In an attempt to enforce an affordable, yet prestigious consumer experience, companies are incorporating the sedan experience into smaller models. This includes the Mercedes 2013 A-class, and the BMW’s 1-series GT mini-car.
Tech is becoming important
2013 is the year when the sci-fi futurism that cartoon show ‘The Jetsons’ once gave us a glimpse of is on its way. Not flying cars – but close.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors has successfully rolled out a fully electricity powered car. It’s not a hybrid, and you can travel 600 miles a day after recharging your car once at a SuperCharger – an electric charging station that Tesla is establishing across the length and breadth of America. While not relevant to tech, Tesla is also campaigning to eliminate the middle man entirely from auto retail (i.e. the expensive car dealership), by attempting to have customers buy from the company directly.
At the same time, Google is continuing with its test drives of the self-driving cars that use an array of high tech sensors to navigate through traffic. The Google fleet of cars has already successfully traversed the treacherous turns of the San Francisco Lombard Street in traffic, and has been spotted making its way across Golden Gate Bridge and other destinations. Most notably, it has even ferried Steve Mahan, a legally blind person in his self-driving enabled Toyota Prius without any incident.
Apple has also begun to dabble with an iOS enabled car. Currently, it has only been revealed that the iPhone 4’s Siri voice guided application will manage the car’s entertainment and information needs.
This feature can already be seen in the GM Chevrolet Spark and the Sonic subcompact. BMW’s 2014 models will also feature the Apple interface – it won’t be the entire iOS 7 feature set in a car, but it’s a start to the rise of the smart car
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