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Published on : Jan 12, 2015

Thanks to a combination of factors including the steady recovery of the American economy and easier availability of credit, the American automotive industry is geared for a bumper 2015. Here’s a list of the major trends that will prop up the industry this year.

1. Subcompact SUVs: Hybridization of various automotive genres has already resulted in diverse mashups such as cross-cabriolets and light utility vehicles. Going one step further, the subcompact SUV - a normal-sized car with a larger engine and higher ground clearance - is pitched as the perfect compound of all the desired qualities in a car. The demand from the American market is not strong, but these are popular in emerging economies.

2. In-Car Technology: Gone are the days when touchscreens were still a novelty item with a considerable cache. Even seats with diverse massaging capabilities are close to becoming old news. Expect increasing amounts of integration with smartphones, as the average car buyer becomes more affluent and more familiar with sophisticated technology. Google’s automated car remains a pipeline project along the same lines.

3. Green Cars: As more of the world becomes aware of the environmental problems plaguing our home planet, expect carmakers to increase development of cars that leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. The pioneering Toyota Prius is still a leading contender, although its many drawbacks are now notorious. Honda’s Clarity has kickstarted the wave of cars running on hydrogen fuel cells, emitting nothing but water. Expect more innovation in this field, as an increasing number of governments start subsidizing green cars and carmakers themselves realize the vast potential lying in catering to a swelling crowd of eco-conscious customers.