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From electrification to autonomous vehicles… What’s trending in 2022 for the automotive industry?

Sponsored: Recruitment agency InAutomotive gives the lowdown on what car dealers need to keep on top of to stay afloat 

Time 8:00 am, May 7, 2022

The automotive industry has experienced a fair amount of disruption in recent years, like almost every other sector.

As needs and markets shift, auto sales businesses should also adjust to stay afloat.

Paying attention to trends will help steer auto professionals down the right course. With that in mind, here are five auto trends in 2022.


The most significant trend of 2022 for the auto industry is electrification.

Electric cars aren’t necessarily new, but their popularity and accessibility are rising. The median range of these vehicles now exceeds 250 miles, and more people are switching to them.

Auto businesses should lean heavily into electric vehicle sales.

Promoting their growing affordability and utility can help convert buyers who are concerned about the environment but are unsure of EVs. Those who don’t sell these cars may fall behind.


Digital auto sales

Another trend auto sales companies should note is the rise of e-commerce.

Online and app-based platforms are starting to disrupt car sales.

Digital sales place more power in consumers’ hands and offer more convenience and comfort, so dealerships should capitalise.

Features such as virtual tours of vehicles and at-home test drives make online car sales platforms even more appealing.

Buyers expect more convenience and transparency, and dealerships should move past traditional models and embrace e-commerce.

Dealerships expanding services

Many dealerships will also expand their in-person services.

Offering more than just ways to test and drive cars will help attract customers to physical locations, competing with online-only options.

Customers growing increasingly accustomed to the convenience of online shopping will appreciate only having to make one stop for multiple services.

On top of selling vehicles, dealerships can rent them out, offer maintenance services even for competitors’ vehicles and run car washes.

Consequently, they must make room in their budgets for these services.

Equipment such as sump pumps for car washes typically have variable costs as low as £229 or as high as £2,290, so budgeting should begin now.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Another leading auto trend in 2022 is mobility as a service, aka MaaS.

When the pandemic struck, 7.5m UK drivers reported being less likely to buy a new or used car.

As fewer people buy vehicles outright, MaaS through rentals, ride-sharing apps and micro-mobility will become increasingly popular.

This trend could harm sales, but it also represents an opportunity. Auto sales businesses can partner with ride-sharing services or rent out cars or electric scooters to capitalise on the MaaS market.

These offerings provide a lower-cost alternative to outright sales, which is increasingly important to consumers.

Autonomous vehicles

It’s impossible to talk about auto trends in 2022 without mentioning autonomous vehicles.

Fully self-driving cars won’t likely appear this year, but manufacturers will include additional functions, such as self-parking or lane correction.

These features make driving more convenient and appeal to tech enthusiasts, so salespeople should market them heavily.

Some experts suggest that autonomous vehicles could cover 40 per cent of European mileage by 2030.

That may come sooner than it seems, so auto sales businesses should start leaning into this technology.

Selling cars with more self-driving features will help them jump on this market opportunity early.

These aren’t the only trends the auto industry will experience in 2022 but they’re the most significant.

Some old ones are rising to new heights, while others will fade and others take their place. Regardless of how the shifting trends come about, auto professionals must pay attention.

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Failing to account for these trends could mean losing business. By contrast, adjusting operations and strategies in response could help sales businesses outperform their competitors.

Since 2005, it’s been our mission to provide automotive professionals with insights for their career growth, allowing them to connect and discover new opportunities.

At InAutomotive, we post the latest automotive job opportunities, as well as industry insights, career advice and discussions within the forum on our Career Hub.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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