These will be the most popular stories next year.
Predicting the future is no easy task, but we thought we would take the opportunity to peer into our crystal ball and read off the stories that will be making headlines next year. 2016 was an interesting year for the auto industry, and using what we learned this year we can get a pretty good idea of what will be popular next year. We rounded up a few trends that we think will continue into 2017. These could be the biggest automotive headlines that will be making a buzz next year, and we look forward to writing them up.
1) "Hybrids Aren't Just For Eco Cars" Only a few years ago, hybrid cars were the bane of every car enthusiast's existence. Today, some of the greatest cars in the world are hybrids. The holy trinity proved that hybrid technology isn't just a boring way to improve fuel economy. We predict that more of this technology will trickle down to everyday sports cars. The trend will probably start with expensive models like the Nissan GT-R and Toyota Supra, but we would love to see less expensive models eventually benefit from hybrid tech. Hybrid drivetrains add a boost of instant torque which make sports cars blisteringly fast and powerful.
2) "SUVs More Popular Than Sedans" It is clear than the SUV trend is taking over the automotive industry. In the US, the hatchback has always played second fiddle to the SUV, but now sedans are starting to take a back seat to the Sport Utility Vehicle. Some industry experts don't think that the SUV boom will last, but it doesn't seem like the automakers got the memo. Companies that have never made an SUV before are anxious to get in on this very profitable market. That is why Maserati, Jaguar, and Bentley all jumped in with SUVs. Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce will even make their own SUVs. We would not be surprised if manufacturers focus more on SUVs than any other model variant in 2017.
3) "Autonomous Cars Are Here To Stay" Tesla has made huge strides building autonomous cars, although the technology is far from perfect. In 2017, we expect that Tesla will continue to improve its technology and other manufacturers will attempt to catch up with the progress that the California-based company has made. No other manufacture has been able to match the Tesla Autopilot system, but 2017 may change that. We would expect a company like Mercedes-Benz or Volvo to be the most likely to compete with Tesla. These companies are obsessed with safety and technology and could challenge Tesla in 2017.
4) "Automakers' Love For China Grows" China is becoming a major focus for car manufacturers moving forward. Buick in particular has found major success there, and even makes decisions on what cars to build based on what will sell in the Chinese market. Unfortunately, the types of cars that sell well in China are extended versions of sedans and SUVs. This means that manufacturers may put less effort into building sports cars and luxury coupes because they don't sell well in China.
5) "Trump Changes The Auto Industry" We won't try to get too political here, but 2017 will be an interesting year for the auto industry thanks to President-elect Donald Trump. Trump hasn't even taken office yet, and stories are already emerging that he has clashed heads with Ford and could create higher car prices thanks to new trade deals. Whether the changes will be good or bad, the American auto industry will be very different with Trump as president.