Monday, 3 January 2011

Automotive Predictions 2011

You don't need to be a genius to recognise that the cost of motoring will rise in 2011 but what else does this New Year hold for motorists and the motor industry? Well here are some of my thoughts:

Factory lead times will get longer - last year saw many popular vehicles delivery from order times stretch in weeks and months. Those ordering anything other than "Special editions" will see the issue worsening in 2011. This is due to a combination of vehicle availability as manufacturers divert production and dealers looking to commit to only those vehicles being tactically supported by the manufacturers

Many cars will become Greener by Adding Blue - Vehicle manufacturers will continue to work on ways to reduce emissions. One solution being offered in 2011 for cars will be AdBlue. Adblue is an additive that is mixed into the exhaust chamber to reduce the level of Nox gasses emitted. It has been widely used in Lorries but in 2011 I expect to see it available in many popular models. The process and technology is proven but as with all new initiatives may see a few teething issues. I expect some motorists to struggle to find stockists of Adblue in order to top their systems up, an issue because like fuel if you run out the car won't start. I also foresee some "odour" issues, in the event that we get a summer that is.

Extended Car Warranty prices will rise in second half of the year - We all know that VAT is rising but many of us have missed the rise in IPT (Insurance Premium Tax) This is a tax that all insurance premiums have levied on them. This is moving in line with the VAT rise to 20% on most insurance based products. Warranty firms are unlikely to be able to cover this increase long term as they come under additional pressure from rising garage labour rates.

The 2011 Formula One season will be even more close than last years - A new tyre provider, different track layouts, team and driver changes. I am, as ever, very excited by the prospects of the new season. I expect a British Champion.

Bling and "car jewelry" will be a key design feature for 2011 new car models - whilst many of us switch off the silly Driving lights fitted as standard on our cars, more seem to be swayed by the "bright lights" and bling of LED. It seems only a few years ago when we all scoffed at boy racers driving on a cloud of blue neon light with matching washer jets yet now even the most mundane family transport is a blinding mix of chrome and lights. Sadly I predict more of this.

I have more thoughts and will share these over the coming days. If you have your own thoughts please share.

Oh yes...Happy New Year!