In this edition of IMTSTV from the Global Forecasting & Marketing Conference, we sat down with Kim Korth, President and Owner of IRN, Inc., to discuss the automotive industry outlook for the upcoming year. Korth says that now is a great time to be part of the automotive industry as it continues to grow in the U.S.
One trend that will greatly impact manufacturing is mass customization. Customer choices are now influencing the industry as manufactuers will have to adapt to fulfill orders.
“Manufacturing is not dead in North America…we’re becoming one of the low-cost production locations in the world,” Kroth says. OEMs are investing in the U.S.; this increase in demand prompts more capital spending in order to buy new, top-of-the-line equipment to stay competitive in the ever-growing industry.
Another driver in the automotive industry is the emergence of new, state-of-the-art innovations such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. What began with the Google Self-driving Car experiments has led to OEMs announcing releases of their own autonomous vehicles in the coming years. This new development changes the way vehicles are designed, and the way they are assembled.
Overall, Korth believes the automotive industry is in a good place. She expects another 4-5% increase in production, which will make it a strong market for at least the next few years.