The Future of the Auto Industry

These are interesting times for car companies. Not great times, but interesting times. It seems that finally they are moving towards non-carbon based engines. And some thing that this shift will be just a small bump in the road, so to speak. In other words, the number of cars on the road is going to keep going up, especially as Chinese buyers come to the market.

But others are not so sure. This article explains. Some see an inflection point ahead as demand shifts.

It is a shift that threatens carmakers as we know them, and also oil companies and petro-states, and it has two main aspects: shared travel, as currently seen with the rapid growth of Uber, and autonomous driving, which is on the verge of being rolled out on a major scale.

In other words, owning cars will be seen as more of a bother than it is worth in light of alternative ways to get around, especially in cities. Want to go to the store? Pull out your smart phone and summon an autonomous car that you share rights to.

It will be interesting to see if we experience such an inflection point. But one cannot help but notice that if cars become commodities that we share rather than status symbols, car companies will have to re-think how to make money.

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