stratton's Predictions for 2015
Posted by stratton on 03/02/2015 at 4:52pm
It's a new year, and so we gazed into our crystal ball and made a few predictions on what's going to happen in the worlds of cars and finance during 2015.
There may not be the hoverboards and flying cars as predicted in 'Back To The Future', however we still think it is going to be an interesting year.
The RBA has acted according to market expectations and cut interest rates to 2.25%. The outlook remains gloomy so we expect rates to remain on hold for the future and we don't rule out the RBA making another rate cut before the end of the year, although the odds are relatively slim.
The Australian Dollar
The Australian dollar has fallen 20% in the last 6 months, however it will take a couple more months for the impact to be seen in rising new car prices as manufactures hedge prices against fluctuations in the dollar. So if you want to avoid price rises, hedge your own bets and get in early.
The Australian Car Market
The Australian automotive landscape will change as Holden, Toyota and Ford prepare to withdraw from Australian manufacturing.
As a consequence, the "grey import" debate will heat up and a closer look will be taken at mechanisms currently designed to protect the local car industry such as the Luxury Car Tax. However, don't expect these to automatically fall as they are solid revenue sources for the government.
Expect a continued rise of cars from India and China sold in Australia
Cheap imports from India and China hit a wall in 2013 when a change in safety regulations meant a number of models could no longer be legally sold in Australia. They have since lifted their game to meet Australian regulations so expect to see more Cherys, Great Walls and Tatas on the road.
But if you are eyeing off one of these newcomers then do your homework, as many have performed poorly in ANCAP safety testing and don't always come with the full complement of safety equipment we expect in modern cars.
Keep an eye out for dash cams
Spurred in part by the popularity of cyclist's helmet cams, dash cams will become more popular in 2015 as motorists look to protect themselves on the road and provide proof they are not at fault in accidents.
Continued growth of electric cars
With the beautiful Tesla leading the way with improved driving range and plans to roll out super-charging stations across Australia, expect more electric and hybrid cars to be seen on our roads in 2015.
The ever-present argument that they are not as environmentally friendly as they seem because they still charge via fossil fuels will continue, but as investment in alternative energy sources increases, look for this to change.
It is unlikely we will see fully autonomous cars on our roads in 2015, with most experts predicting this is won't happen until around 2020.
What we will see is an increasing roll out of autonomous features such as stop-start traffic jam assist, and braking and parking assistance. On the back of more autonomous features, expect the legislative debate about what level of autonomy is acceptable to begin.
The next Apple vs Google war is in your car - watch as they slug it out to deliver the latest infotainment systems in your new car, replacing manufacturer's proprietary systems.