January 8, 2007

Top ten auto trends identified at Detroit auto show

Detroit, Michigan – Every year the world’s leading automakers make dozens of vehicle debuts at the North American International Auto Show, making it arguably the world’s most important auto show. The forecasting team at CSM Worldwide have compiled their top 10 trends coming from this year’s edition of NAIAS, and which new vehicles to watch to see examples of these trends.

“Future success in the vehicle market will be strongly correlated with those manufacturers that efficiently integrate leading-edge technologies that consumers value,” said Michael Robinet, vice president, Global Vehicle Forecasts. “Better solutions involving safety, powertrain efficiency and the driving experience will be tomorrow’s differentiators.”

CSM Worldwide’s Top 10 NAIAS Trends and example vehicles to see at NAIAS:

  • Styling: Taller shoulders, slimmer greenhouses, wider stance, lower hood
    and taller rear end — Ford Interceptor and Lincoln MKR concepts.

  • Stability: AWD integration combined with stability-control improvements —
    Volvo XC60 and Cadillac CTS.

  • Bodystyle and Glass: 4-door cabriolets, folding roofs and glass-noise
    abatement — Mercedes-Benz Ocean Drive concept and Toyota FT-HS concept.

  • Cockpit Integration / Interior Material Choice: Pop-up navigation systems,
    central entertainment/navigation controls, and instrument/door panel
    material upgrades — Chrysler Group minivans and Cadillac CTS.

  • Seating: Flexibility and enhanced ingress/egress are keys; lighter, more
    functional seats can be found across various segments — Chrysler Group
    minivans and the Ford Airstream concept.

  • Exterior Lighting: Headlamp capability/styling as a differentiator, rear
    lighting advances and other exterior lighting improvements with mirrors,
    running boards and CHMSLs — Lincoln MKR concept and the Jeep Trailhawk

  • Interior Lighting: Interior ambient lighting (below the belt line) and
    instrument panel illumination — Chrysler Nassau concept and Jaguar C-XF

  • Passive Safety Improvements: Lane departure systems, rear
    detection/cameras, airbag integration, and tire-pressure sensing — Lexus
    LS 460 and Chrysler Group minivans.

  • Engines: More with less through greater use of turbochargers,
    superchargers and diesels, as well as internal combustion engine
    technology integration such as direct injection, variable valve and multi-
    displacement systems — Chevrolet Volt concept and Toyota FT-HS concept.

  • Transmissions: An increase in the number of forward speeds, particularly
    6-speed automatics, as well as the use of DCTs/CVTs — Mitsubishi Lancer
    and Nissan Rogue.

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