The automotive manufacturing industry is constantly evolving. Cars have been around for just over one hundred years, and in that time we've seen a lot of changes.
Today, we're on the cusp of yet another automotive revolution. With advances in technology, we're seeing new automotive manufacturing trends that are set to change the way we build and buy cars.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the automotive manufacturing trends that are likely to impact the automotive industry in the years to come.
Automotive Manufacturing Trends
Here are some of the biggest automotive manufacturing trends to watch out for.
1. Use of Alternative Materials
In the past, automotive manufacturing relied heavily on steel and aluminum. But with the rise of electric vehicles, manufacturers are starting to explore the use of alternative materials such as carbon fiber and composites. These materials are lighter and stronger than traditional metals, which means that they can improve fuel economy and performance.
Data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shows that these new lightweight materials can reduce the weight of the chassis by as much as 50%. And each time automotive manufacturers reduce the weight of their vehicles by just 10%, fuel efficiency increased by up to 8%.
Looking ahead, it's clear that automotive manufacturers will continue to explore new materials and technologies that can help improve fuel economy and performance. So if you're interested in staying ahead of the curve, make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest automotive manufacturing trends.
2. Electric Vehicle Revolution
We're beginning to see even the biggest Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology. This represents a major shift in automotive manufacturing technology trends.
Just a few years ago, electric vehicles were seen as nothing more than a niche market for early adopters and technology enthusiasts. However, thanks to major advancements in battery technology, electric vehicles are now poised to take over the automotive market.
In automotive manufacturing, a shift towards electric means a shift in the entire supply chain. For example, electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts than traditional gasoline-powered cars. This means that there are fewer opportunities for things to go wrong during the manufacturing process.
In addition, electric cars have few byproducts from their manufacture. The waste from the assembly factory is minimal and almost all of it can be recycled. Parts, components, and subassemblies are made elsewhere and brought to the assembly plants.
3. Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing
More and more OEMs are turning to additive manufacturing or three-dimensional (3D) printing for automotive parts. This technology is still in its infancy, but it has great potential for automotive applications.
There are several reasons why automotive manufacturers are interested in additive manufacturing. First, it can be used to create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing methods. Second, it can be used to produce small batches of parts quickly and cheaply. Third, it offers the potential for mass customization, meaning that each vehicle could be equipped with parts that are specifically tailored to the needs of the individual customer.
Ford was one early adopter of additive technology in its manufacturing process. The Ford 2020 Shelby GT500 used additive manufacturing to test more than 10 different designs, resulting in the Shleby being the “most aerodynamically advanced Mustang to date.”
Technology Trends in the Automotive Industry
Here are a few of the biggest automotive manufacturing technology trends.
1. Connected Cars
There's no doubt that consumers now expect their vehicles to be connected. In a world where we're used to being connected 24/seven, it's only natural that we'd want that same level of connection when we're behind the wheel.
But consumers want more from connected cars than just the ability to stream their favorite music or make hands-free calls. They want vehicles that are safer, smarter, and more connected than ever before--vehicles that can anticipate their needs and make their lives easier.
That's why automotive manufacturers are focused on making connected cars a reality. And they're investing big money to make it happen. In fact, connectivity is one of the biggest technology trends in the automotive industry right now.
We can expect to see even more connected cars on the road in the coming years, with advanced machine-learning features, safe and secure data storage, and bidirectional communication.
2. Truck Platooning
Truck platooning is another automotive industry trend you'll see more of in 2023. When multiple trucks use vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity to drive close behind each other while traveling at high speeds, it's called truck platooning.
Based on research, truck platooning (driving in formation) will become more popular because it conserves fuel. When used together with autonomous freight transport, it's even more effective. Truck platooning will soon become prevalent in the freight industry, as self-driving trucks become more common.
3. Partnerships with Technology Companies
OEMs have traditionally been hesitant to partner with anyone outside of their own organization. However, with the rapid pace of change in automotive technology, OEMs are now starting to see the benefits of working with technology companies.
One of the most important benefits of these partnerships is that they give automotive manufacturers access to cutting-edge technologies that they wouldn't otherwise have. This is especially important for electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles, which require specialized software and advanced technology to function safely and correctly.
By partnering with technology companies, automotive manufacturers can also avoid the need to make massive investments in their own technology divisions. This is often a more cost-effective solution for automotive manufacturers, who can then focus their resources on other areas of their business.
More Automotive Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch Out For
There's no doubt the automotive manufacturing industry is rapidly changing. To stay ahead of the curve, it's important to be aware of the latest automotive manufacturing trends.
If you'd like to know more about the future of auto manufacturing trends, reach out to us. Our experts would be happy to chat with you about the latest trends in the automotive industry and how they might impact your business.