2017 has been an exciting year for the Indian car market. There have been a lot of new trends in the market like more fuel-efficient vehicles, the arrival of affordable hot hatches and more. In 2018, a lot of new trends are expected. We bring you ten such trends that will take over in 2018.
Touchscreen infotainment systems
With the affordability of touchscreen-based systems, more and more vehicles are offering it. In 2018, we will see the trend getting stronger with even affordable vehicles offering touchscreen infotainment systems. Touch sensitive infotainment system offers an easier interface and adds a much better feel to the cabin.
Standard safety features
While the basic safety features are not yet mandatory in the Indian vehicles, manufacturers have started offering features like airbags and ABS as standard. Competitive marketing will force more manufacturers to put the basic ABS and airbags as standard in the vehicles. Many manufacturers have also started equipping the vehicles with ISOFIX child seat hooks as standard in their vehicles too and we may see more manufacturers following the trend this year.
Active safety features
The Indian government has made it mandatory for all the four wheelers to have active safety features like seatbelt reminders, rear parking sensors and speed alert systems from July 2019. Before the deadline arrives, manufacturers are expected to put all these features in all the new cars launching year. Even the driver side airbag has been made mandatory among the other features.
With the arrival of touchscreen infotainment systems, many manufacturers have also started offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity options in the vehicles. As these are much easier, safer and have a richer user interface, the market is quite quick to accept the new technology. The new smartphone based connectivity options also provide voice command options, which will also catch up in 2018.
No more bull bars
As the government has decided to make the roads a safer place, strict actions are being taken against the aftermarket bull bars. Such bull bars cause harm to the pedestrians and also alter the crash impact of a vehicle. As the cops have already started taking action against such vehicles, we will see a much lower number of vehicles with bull bars.
LED headlamps, which were exclusive to the high-end and premium vehicles till now have made their way into the affordable car segment. In 2018, we will see many more such vehicles with full LED headlamps that offer much better illumination at night. Even the affordable motorcycles have started offering the full-LED headlamp systems and the trend will become much stronger in 2018.
While the DRLs are mandatory for vehicles in many foreign countries, the Indian government made them mandatory for all the two-wheelers. However, many cars have started incorporating them for aesthetics and practicality purpose. DRLs add a very brawny look to the vehicle and it also helps others to spot the vehicle easily. We will see the trend entering in the affordable segment vehicles this year.
The fall of the diesel
The diesel engines have started feeling the heat and in 2017, only 23% buyers opted for diesel-powered hatchbacks. This will further go down in 2018 as the price difference between diesel and petrol fuel has closed down. The refinement of petrol power vehicles is also one of the major factors of people choosing the volatile fuel over the sticky one.
2018 will see the start of an electric vehicle era as manufacturers have been preparing to launch new products in the segment. Until now, only one manufacturer offers electric vehicles in India. In 2018, we will see many more participants and many more choices in the green car segment. The major shift has happened due to Indian government’s plan to make India an electric-vehicle exclusive nation by 2030.
The micro SUV segment is one the fastest growing segments in India. In 2018, we will see manufacturers entering the highly competitive segment with their products. Mahindra and Hyundai already have plans to launch sub 4-meter compact SUVs in India this year and we may see other manufacturers jumping the bandwagon soon.