A part of being a motoring author is predicting traits, having a take into consideration what paths the automotive market would possibly take within the near-term.
Some traits akin to electrification are as clear as day, whereas others are based mostly on looser hypothesising.
Right here we jot down one expectation for 2023 from varied crew members. Add your two cents within the feedback!
China will change into Australia’s third-largest supply of automobiles
Gross sales of automobiles made in China spiked 55 per cent to the tip of November this yr, making the nation our fourth-biggest supply of automobiles behind Japan, Thailand and Korea.
Greater than 10 per cent of recent automobiles offered this yr on the time of writing have been made in China – both by quickly rising Chinese language manufacturers MG, LDV, GWM, Haval and BYD, or manufacturers that supply automobiles from there akin to Tesla, Volvo and Polestar.
All (or most) of these manufacturers will preserve rising at tempo in 2023 with extra fashions on the horizon, and be joined by different Chinese language manufacturers akin to Chery, GWM Ora, GWM Tank, JAC Motor.
As such, I reckon earlier than the tip of subsequent yr, Chinese language-made automobiles will account for a minimum of 15 per cent of the market. That may little question result in geopolitical conversations…
We received’t be dashing in to purchase EV utes any time quickly
As a lot as I really like electrical automobiles, we confirmed throughout our current Adelaide to Sydney drive that the variability in vary in the case of climate, detours and cargo will be dicey.
Change that over to the ute section the place automobiles must be able to carrying masses, towing and doing all of the issues that EVs hate, and abruptly they have an inclination to make lots much less sense.
Whereas electrical utes are more likely to be a factor sooner or later, I don’t suppose we are going to see enormous adoption till we see battery know-how and functionality broaden.
In the mean time an electrical model of an inner combustion ute is a large compromise on load hauling functionality. Within the interim I believe we’ll see hybrids and probably plug-in hybrids till we bridge that know-how hole.
One other inherent threat is the dire lack of infrastructure to help an enormous swap to Australia’s hottest car kind.
If we presently battle with public charging infrastructure, we’ll must see grand scale enhancements if we wish to help the quantity of gross sales the dual-cab ute section presently experiences.
Completely satisfied to be confirmed fallacious, however that’s the best way I see it for the time being.
An finish to inflated costs… hopefully
Provide is lastly bettering for carmakers, which suggests energy will begin to shift away from sellers and used automotive retailers, and again into the arms of the client.
With new automobiles briefly provide for the reason that begin of COVID-19, sellers have been in a position to cost checklist worth (or extra) for his or her new automobiles figuring out if somebody doesn’t wish to pay, there’s in all probability a cashed-up shopper behind them in line who will.
As these traces begin to dissipate (which is able to take some time within the case of Toyota, for instance), and sellers have a gentle stream of recent automobiles flowing into the nation and onto their forecourts, the door will open for cut price hunters to start out negotiating once more.
We’d even see the return of factory-backed reductions on overstocked fashions.
As for used automotive costs? Effectively, with extra trade-ins hitting the market (and extra fleets turning automobiles over, having scaled again through the pandemic) the development of declining costs can solely proceed.
There will probably be some exceptions, after all. I can’t think about LandCruiser 300 costs dropping any time quickly, however the broader market may be on its means again to regular.
Yr of the PHEV
Aussies are demanding EVs and hybrids increasingly. Some manufacturers don’t provide Toyota-style typical hybrids of their international portfolios – so, PHEV is the best way in case you don’t go full EV.
I’m a agency believer that PHEVs are an important mid-way electrification resolution within the Australian market given widespread vary nervousness in addition to our huge panorama that lacks EV charging infrastructure, the folks simply don’t comprehend it but.
The most important alternatives for PHEV uptake I imagine include the mainstream producers; Mitsubishi has led the best way for years with the Outlander PHEV, MG has the HS Plus EV and Mazda will probably be bringing the CX-60 PHEV in June throughout all trim ranges.
Volkswagen has indicated its plans to carry Golf and Tiguan PHEVs in 2023-24 too, and it’s no secret that Ford is engaged on a plug-in hybrid Ranger too. It’s time we acquired on board to cut back emissions as a lot as we will in as some ways we will.
Hopefully with new Federal emissions targets and gasoline high quality requirements, in addition to higher provide of product, the buyer can have extra electrified decisions than ever.
We’ll see extra massive utes and small EVs
It’s fairly protected to say we’re going to see much more American pickup vehicles on native roads, whether or not y’all prefer it or not.
Ram gross sales proceed to develop, as do gross sales of the Chevy Silverado, the Ford F-150 is due in 2023, and Toyota has all however confirmed the Tundra which has the potential to essentially shake issues up.
However on the different finish of the spectrum, we’re set to see an inflow of small EVs within the form of the GWM Ora Good Cat, BYD Dolphin and MG 4 Electrical.
With sharp pricing – nearly a certainty given they’re from Chinese language manufacturers – these have the potential to additional juice EV gross sales in Australia and get extra customers in EVs for the primary time, whereas additionally siphoning gross sales away from established fashions just like the Nissan Leaf.
Think about that: a yr the place the 2 fastest-growing segments are full-sized pickup vehicles and small EVs. Speak about a dichotomy.
If you need an reasonably priced EV, it’s going to be made in China
When you’re on the lookout for the most affordable EV in Australia proper now, that will be the MG ZS EV priced from $44,990 drive-away. The following most reasonably priced EV available on the market is the BYD Atto 3 priced from $48,011 excluding on-roads.
They’re not precisely low cost and cheerful both, since each come loaded with loads of know-how and a good vary. Not shocking contemplating China is the world’s greatest EV market.
This pair are simply the tip of the Chinese language EV onslaught that’s headed our means in 2023 and past. MG and BYD will broaden their choices subsequent yr, and be joined by the likes of GWM Ora, and past this others planning their arrivals embrace Chery, JAC Motor and GAC Aion.
The excellent news is that whereas Chinese language carmakers would possibly maintain a premium model place of their residence markets, they should earn their cachet from the bottom up right here with cheaper institution pricing than well-known legacy manufacturers.
Provide-constrained options will return
It frustrates me to no finish that various carmakers are prepared to compromise on security and ship new automobiles which are lacking key options, akin to blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, because of the ongoing semiconductor scarcity.
I forecast (or higher but hope) these options will return throughout 2023.
From what I’ve seen from abroad stories the worldwide semiconductor scarcity will hopefully ease throughout subsequent yr. This can probably give carmakers the chance to reintroduce the lacking options.
My worst nightmare is prospects getting used to not having the options and the offending carmakers locking them behind an possibility pack.
Allow us to all pray for my sanity that this doesn’t occur (it in all probability will.)