Manufacturers Will Compete in Auto Tech War at Subcompact Level

The subcompact market might not attract the same interest or enthusiasm as other market segments, but analysts predict it will be the ultimate battleground for automotive technology in Europe.

Automakers including Ford, Kia, Nissan, and Volkswagen are all trying to attract consumers to the subcompact segment by loading up their little babies with advanced features and glam interiors.

Many dealers think it’s about time, as they are tired of seeing technologies stuck at the top of the pyramid and takings too long to work its way down to entry-level models. While luxury vehicles and crossovers might have received the latest gadgets first, the real test of their mass-market appeal is to economy buyers. Dealers have been clamoring for more innovation in the subcompact segment, as economy consumers are incredibly tech-savvy with expectations and less brand loyalty than upmarket buyers.

Subcompacts will prove to be a highly competitive segment as they are pretty much the last segment of the car market that is standing firm as other consumers with more money to spend flock to the SUVs and crossovers in droves. The subcompact segment actually grew last year to 2.82 million cars, up about 17% year over year. The segment is showing strong signs again this year as manufacturer’s move away from a pure performance and horsepower play to enhanced connectivity for key demographics. It looks like automakers will need every trick in their arsenal to woo customers away from the competition.