Apart from a sluggish December run, the overall performance of the auto industry in the US was quite convincing in 2016. The automakers in the country collectively racked up for a third consecutive year of record-breaking sales. This becomes more crucial considering the fact that the start of the decade witnessed one of the worst depressions in US car market ever.
As demand shows signs of a gradual drop in momentum over the recent months, the future prospects of growth still remains uncertain for the industry. However, 2016 will be noted as the year where the US auto industry not only achieved groundbreaking sales figures but witnessed major transitions in the industry.
The industry’s longing for self-driving vehicles is actually coming into reality, with several prototypes being tested on road. Carmakers are introducing these autonomous vehicles across the country and trying to make them operational in teal time situations. For instance, some of these futuristic vehicles are used in ridesharing pilot programs in San Francisco and Pittsburgh.
A number of automakers, including General Motor and Tesla, are hoping to launch their first commercial fully autonomous models by the start of 2020, other automakers are also expected to join in soon. The Industry’s increasing fondness for such vehicles becomes more visible when automotive giants such as Ford commits to start manufacturing completely driverless cars by 2021.
In 2016, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also drafted the first federal regulatory norms for autonomous vehicles. Authorities are also suggesting on preliminary rules that will see cars communicate with one another, sharing their location, direction, and speed. Issues with vehicle safety were one of the industry’s prime concerning areas last year. Automotive recalls reached a record high over the past couple of years. Last year Takata problem was the highlight of all recalls issues. The departing year may have also witnessed the status of zero-emission vehicles change from niche to a much more distinct segment. Not necessarily reflecting on the overall sales of pure battery-electric, hybrids and plug-ins vehicles.
Summary: The story of the US automotive industry in 2016