One welcome trend in the automotive industry has been the imposition of more stringent regulatory norms, with regard to many aspects such as emissions, fuel efficiency, product safety, rolling resistance. From the consumer’s point of view, this is definitely a good trend, especially in light of the recent Volkswagen dieselgate scandal.
For the automotive industry, however, this is a definite challenge. Car manufacturers are now required by law to include safety features that earlier were optional extras provided to customers for a significant price. More rigorous fuel emissions standards mean that automotive manufacturers have to spend more on research and development to come up with cleaner, more environment friendly engines, lubricants and tires. More and more automotive manufacturers have joined the hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles bandwagon to ramp up their sustainability credentials.
With connected vehicle being the next big wave in automotive technology to enhance their appeal to the new generation of digital natives, the security and reliability of the software used in vehicles is another major area of concern.
Another major challenge for the automotive industry is that the regulations vary from market to market. For example, the norms in Europe differ from those in North America. While in the United States, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standard are the ones to followed with regard to fuel efficiency, in the case of the European market, Euro 6 emission norms have to be followed for light passengers and commercial vehicles.
Once automotive manufacturers, OEMS, tire manufacturers and other suppliers have come to grips with the regulatory standards, they will definitely be in a position to “futureproof” their latest technologies.
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