Thanks to continued challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, such as chip shortages, supply chain disruptions, and skyrocketed prices, 2021 was an eventful year for car retailers. What does 2022 have in store for the automotive industry? Here are some predictions by NBC on the year ahead.
While semiconductor chip supplies seem to be rebounding, they’re not anywhere close to their normal levels, which will likely negatively impact production well into 2022. Other shortages of parts such as tires, interior plastics, and seat foams will also be an issue.
Higher Prices for New Cars
Due to the shortages of 2021, automakers produced about 8 million fewer vehicles last year than they had planned. Even if production increases, it will still take some time to build back inventories – again, well into 2022. As a result, buyers will see limited choices for new cars as well as higher prices, which could slow car sales.
Online Car Buying Will Become the Norm
As a result of COVID-19, car shoppers turned to the Internet to purchase their cars, and dealers accommodated them by dropping off test-drive as well as purchased vehicles. Not to mention, consumers grew accustomed to shopping online. It’s likely car shoppers will continue to prefer and even expect a digital shopping experience in 2022 and in the years to come.
EVs Sales Will Gain the Lead
During the first half of 2021, demand for electric vehicles doubled in the U.S. Based on these metrics, GM CEO Mary Barra predicts 2022 could bring the “tipping point.” An explosion in EV sales seems likely especially with the number of long-range models projected to quadruple this year.
Startups Will Continue to Disrupt the Industry
Ever since Tesla has come on the scene and successfully shaken up the industry to its advantage, we can expect other start-ups to follow in its tracks. According to NBC.com, Rivian’s market cap has exceeded both Ford and General Motors at over $90 billion, but they predict that Byton, Lordstown Motors, and Faraday Future will lose their momentum in 2022.
Tesla Will Find Itself Under Pressure
After hitting record-high earnings in 2021, 2022 could continue to bring high revenues. However, with several products, including the Cybertruck and the next-generation batteries, falling behind production schedule, as well as U.S. safety probes and issues with the Chinese government, Tesla may face some challenges.
Autonomous Vehicles Roll-outs Could Be Delayed
Consumers have been waiting for the arrival of truly hands-free self-driving vehicles since 2020, but 2022 could be the year for roll-outs from several automakers including GM and Mercedes-Benz. Still, safety probes by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into Tesla autopilot crashes, demonstrating that automakers may be further from developing fully autonomous vehicles than they originally predicted.
Stay Tuned for More 2022 Updates
Over the following years, the automotive industry is expected to change dramatically all over the world, and 2022 is just the beginning. To get prepared for the changes to come in the post-pandemic world, make sure to explore an online retail experience to meet consumers needs in the growing digital retail landscape.