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World Car Trends 2014 at the New York Auto Show

connected car

NEW YORK--April 17, 2014: At a press conference hosted by the World Car Awards (WCA) at the New York International Auto Show today, an expert panel comprising 69 of the world's top automotive journalists weighed in on today's top global trends in the automotive industry.

The key findings of a scientific study conducted by PRIME Research are:

Market Trends - Efficiency, lightweight materials, design, connectivity and new energy cars are the most important media trends of 2014. These trends form part of a bigger picture within the automotive industry, which PRIME Research have identified as the “smart efficiency cluster”.

This “efficiency cluster” is driven by the downsizing of engines, significant weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and new energy powertrains; particularly plug-in hybrids. “Utilising this efficiency cluster is the challenge for all manufacturers and brands today and in the near future” remarked Dr. Rainer Mathes, Chairman of PRIME Research, which conducted the study in conjunction with the World Car Awards.

Mathes also noted that lightweight materials were under the radar two years ago, yet in 2014 moved into the spotlight as the second most important aspect driven by interest in engine downsizing and the use of aluminium. The Ford F150 and BMW i3 have helped in bringing materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre to the mass market as affordable solutions for weight-saving.

Following the media hype in 2012, electric vehicles are losing momentum. After two years of being among the Top 3, EVs now rank as the fifth most important trend – a reality check for the industry.

Plug-in hybrids are seen as the most promising electric drivetrain option moving forward, but the onset of premium electric vehicles - driven by the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S - bring electric vehicles back into the spotlight. Stories written about these two models accounts for over 40% of all media coverage on electric vehicles. They have the ability to become game changers.

The World Car jurors also voiced strong opinions on connectivity; which is already a key factor in evaluating a car. Digital cars rank as the fourth most important trend, with infotainment and connectivity systems seen as increasingly significant. Tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft have now joined the game: teaming up with automotive brands to create the next generation of digital cars.


"In-car connectivity will be a key topic in 2014, and advanced safety assistance systems continue to gain importance." (Dr. Rainer Mathes, Chairman, PRIME Research) "In the view of our experts, the battery-electric vehicle holds little promise to solve the mobility challenges of the future anymore." (Jens Meiners, Director, Steering Committee, World Car Awards) "The plug-in hybrid is seen as the most important alternative powertrain solution in the future." (Dr. Rainer Mathes, Chairman, PRIME Research))


Detailed findings and quotes from the survey among the top 69 global automotive journalists can be found in the full study, "The Digital Car" which is available for download on our website Global Auto Trends.

Photos from today’s press conference are also available for download on our web site at WCOTY > Award Photos.

PRIME Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy is once again the World Car Awards’ research partner. The company will provide strategic reports in 2014 that analyze the awards' global automotive media coverage.

The 2014 World Car Award winners are announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 17, 2014.


Now in their eleventh year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world’s most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete with, existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy) are the co-chairs; Jens Meiners (Germany), Mike Rutherford (U.K.), Eddie Alterman (USA), and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.


PRIME Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy, has joined forces with the World Car Awards to provide strategic studies in the fields of automotive assessment criteria and automotive awards. PRIME Research is a well-trusted research partner for the automotive industry with a broad range of automotive clients. Its full picture approach, which provides strategic benchmark information and SWOT analyses on over 150 brands and over 10,000 different automobile models, sets the standard in automotive media research.

About the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)

Showcasing the latest automotive trends, the 2014 New York International Auto Show will unveil an extensive collection of the most technologically advanced vehicles on display anywhere in the world. More than four floors of displays, including the new Javits Center North exhibition hall, will house nearly 1,000 stunning new 2014/2015 vehicles as well as sensational futuristic concept cars. NYIAS is owned and produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.

Important Show Information: Press Days: April 16 & 17, Public Show Dates: April 18 – April 27.Show Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.