When a sector as important as the auto industry begins to see fundamental changes in the way it operates, it’s important that every company in that vertical or adjacent to it takes note.
Changes in the auto industry, such as smarter or longer-lasting cars, mean that everyone from the auto maker to the parts supplier to the distributor needs to make the necessary adjustments to ensure operations continue to run smoothly in the midst of an important evolution. Because of this, strategic packaging decisions are crucial to ensuring everything is delivered quickly, efficiently and, above all else, safely to where it needs to go.
Auto industry prospers
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s annual “Car Wars” report predicted the next few years will be prosperous for the auto industry, USA Today reported.
By 2018, annual sales are expected to reach 20 million vehicles, and automakers are poised to release an average of 58 new cars per year over the next four years. In comparison, the auto industry sold 17.5 million vehicles last year, and the typical average of number of vehicles released per year is 38.
“Today’s car engines are more akin to computers than a machine serviceable by the average layman.”
In addition to a rapidly increasing market, cars have also become more technologically advanced over the past decade. Safety and entertainment features have been added, and self-driving cars are beginning to make their way onto the roadways. As Petrolicious commented, today’s car engines are more akin to computers than a machine serviceable by the average layman.
Auto parts industry more relevant than ever
Even though the average Joe may not fully understand how to repair or upgrade his or her engine, many people still enjoy upgrading their cars or making repairs to help increase the vehicle’s life. The average age of vehicles on the road has been steadily increasing over the past few decades, growing from 8.4 years in 1995 to 11.4 in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
To allow cars to age gracefully, they need quality parts to help them continue driving. Indeed, the auto parts industry has been enjoying success over the past few years, and expects to continue seeing strong demand in the years to come. The Wall Street Journal even noted that auto parts stocks are beating auto maker stocks.
Of course, the auto parts industry needs to keep up with auto industry trends. As more cars become technologically advanced, so too are the parts that give them these new capabilities. Tech companies are beginning to collaborate more with parts suppliers, and auto parts makers are beginning to move their operations out West to be near Silicon Valley.
Packaging decisions to support change
Aging cars and technologically advanced cars might appear to the on opposite ends of the spectrum in the age of an evolving auto industry. However, they do have something in common: they require that the correct parts be delivered safely and securely.
There are plenty of options to protect auto parts. One is bumper wrap made from microfoam or polypropylene foam, such as that produced by Pregis. Designed properly, these can be puncture-resistant, an important quality when shipping parts that could become scratched or chipped. They also provide cushioning to protect items during long, bumpy journeys.
Another option to keep delicate parts in tact is Pregis’s AirSpeed ChamberPak, which has cushioning capabilities as well as block-and-brace functionality. This is important when shipping larger, instrumental pieces, such as windshields.
To learn about the best packaging decisions you can provide for your auto parts company, reach out to Pregis’s experts. They can review your current operations and make helpful suggestions about how you can improve your packaging strategy.