October 23, 2019

Biggest disruption to the auto industry is not electric, at least not yet!

Everyone is talking about electric cars and how it will change the face of the auto industry in the near future. This new approach led by Tesla will revolutionize the way we look at automobiles & change transportation and buying patterns beyond our imagination. This is expected to be quickly followed by all the auto industry giants, promising their electric products to be available for purchase as early as 2020 and later.

This disruption will surely happen sometime in the future, this is still a niche and will take some time to impact us all. Not only does this need the electric cars, it also needs the required infrastructure to support apart from more innovation and mass production of lighter more powerful batteries and other components. This infrastructure readiness may take some time to start affecting the lives of the people driving around in their fossil fuel run vehicles.

But a change that has creped in slowly without a lot of us realizing is the preference of the type of cars being bought. This disruption is the increased demand for Crossovers. A fall in demand for traditional sedans and hard core SUV and increased preference for Crossovers has seen the manufacturers introduce more crossover variants across their range. Be it luxury brands that were traditionally famous for manufacturing sedans like Jaguar, Bentley & Maserati or brands that only had large SUVs like Land Rover have actively started producing/introducing crossovers like Evoque to meet this change in demand. Even the mass brands have seen a increased variants of small, mid range crossovers.

Available in all sizes; small, mid and large across brands, these crossovers have captured the imagination of customers. All auto critics and experts have traditionally preferred a sedan to SUVs for various reasons; better control, comfort, weight to power ratio and most importantly fuel efficiency. But this trend seems to be changing and changing fast. Be it the American, Japanese, Korean or Chinese car manufacturers, everyone has a wider choice of crossovers and in some cases more than their sedan range.

If you wonder why this trends seem to be picking up in spite of fuel efficiency and parking convenience, then the one reason that I can think of which captures this trend is that these crossovers provide the “best of both world” experience. More security, or at least that’s the perception, comfort of a sedan but the high seating position, more space of a SUV. Perceived elevation in status due to the aspiration to own a SUV as well as an adventurous and off-roading, rough & tough kind of an image.  While these emotional reasons are met, it also satisfies the rational one looking for fuel efficient, comfortable interiors and loaded features, safety as well as a good city drive and occasional off-roader.

Some of the popular crossovers include the Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-trail, Mazda CX-5 & CX-3 Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, KIA Sorrento, Geely X7 SPORT etc. to name a few though the list is much longer. Even the Luxury brands have a huge list like the Jaguar F-PACE, extended Lexus RX series, Merc ML series, BMW X series etc.

So, have you been hit by this crossover trend, too? Do share your views on why you bought a crossover and which one?

Biggest disruption to the auto industry is not electric, at least not yet.