What to Watch in the Auto Industry in the New Year

With the New Year upon us, there are many issues to watch for in the auto industry. From the popularity of the ride-sharing service Uber to the uphill battle climate regulators face for getting customers’ attention, there is so much to keep our eyes on in 2015.

The auto industry is facing competition from ride-sharing services such as Uber, which recently got additional funding. While previously many American families had owned two cars, that number is falling, with many people opting to use Uber or carpooling alternatives. Will demand for cars diminish even more this year?

As well, keep your eye on the oil prices. Oil is cheap worldwide, which is great for customers who want to fill up their cars without a big price tag, but that leaves climate regulators struggling to get buyers’ attention. Alternatives to petroleum-based transportation are expensive, and it’s not easy to sell it to people who enjoy the currently low rates for gasoline. Of course, oil prices could rise next week, so we will continue to watch this auto industry issue.

As for Detroit, the automotive hub of the world, experts continue to ponder whether it will be able to sync with high-tech Silicon Valley. As vehicle designs incorporate information technology more and more, that working relationship is going to become more intense over the course of the New Year. We will be watching to see if it is a harmonious union, especially when Google brings its self-driving car to market.

As well, the auto industry will be playing catch up this year to China’s big push to become the world’s largest vehicle market. That means that new car models being produced in America will strive to meet China’s consumer preferences, with the US market being second in consideration. While it initially appears that the preferences between cars buyers in the US and China are similar, differences may begin to show up in 2015.

What will you be watching in the auto industry in the New Year?

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