Only a few days have passed since CES 2013 closed last week in Las Vegas, but already since Sunday, there is tremendous momentum in Detroit, Michigan where the preview days for the North American International Auto Show are underway. The show opens to the public next week, Jan. 19th – 27th, but this week is full of the sneak peeks, and many press event exclusives.
From luxury to subcompact, auto-electronics essential
The themes this year are certainly about performance, luxury and redesigns. There are the anticipated arrivals of the Maserati Quattroporte and Corvette Stingray, the latest in auto-electronics from Audi, on to the updates to the Ford Fiesta and the newest EV compact, the Chevrolet Spark as well as Cadillac's luxury EV, the ELR (reviewed by ComputerWorld). What we see from the wide line up array, is that the role of electronics continues to increase not only in improving vehicle performance, but also in underlying major feature differentiators.
What these pre-show unveilings underscore is that auto manufacturers are presenting many exciting options and styles to a full-range of consumers, all of which are hosting a significant array of electronic-based safety, navigation, efficiency, performance, and entertainment features.
Auto and semi markets continue to intertwine
2012 was a very positive year for the automotive industry with sales reaching a five-year high; while 2013 is not expected to be as strong as 2012, auto sales are increasingly important to semi because of the growing amount of on-board electronics. The automotive sector is showing continued growth for semi, particularly based on what we saw both at CES last week (see our video from Auto CES and this from Forbes) and the sneak peeks coming out of Detroit this week.
It is with good reason that car manufacturers are showcasing their latest models and features at both CES and similar electronics shows as well as the traditional venues such as the Detroit Auto Show. The importance of differentiators based on electronics are extensive today (see Endgadget's review): from improved engine performance and safety features, alongside of on-board entertainment, driver assisted capabilities, and "The Connected Car" (Bluetooth enabled smart wireless device connectivity), on to the many new hybrid engines and improved performance capabilities of electrical vehicles (see Environmental Leader's review of the latest HEV and EV news relating to the auto show).
In short, as we await the public reaction next week and the remainder of media events this week, the opportunities for the semiconductor and electronics industry in the automotive sector continued to expand as content rises and the reliance on electronics deepens.