What it is like to be an auto analyst

With the advent of vehicle electrification and the recent advances in vehicle autonomy, it is an exciting time to be an auto analyst

May Arthapan, Director, Asia-Pacific Forecasting

22 December 2021

A friend recently asked me what it is like to be an auto analyst and it got me thinking about how exciting it has been, especially in the last couple of years, with the start of vehicle electrification and the recent advances in vehicle autonomy.

Prior to the advent of electric and Autonomous Vehicles, the auto sector was viewed by many as being somewhat staid and only attracted the attention of die-hard enthusiasts. But with the arrival of these cutting-edge technologies, both the nature and perception of the sector have changed radically, with the industry now venturing into the realm of high tech. Tesla, for example, has become one of the highest-valued companies globally. Its market capitalisation peaked at more than US$1.2 trillion, leaving me wishing that I had bought Tesla stocks! 

The sector is now at the forefront of one of the most important innovations of the century. So, with all these advancements, the answer to my friend’s question is, undoubtedly, that being an auto analyst is exhilarating.

As a woman and an avid car enthusiast, I am arguably a rare breed. My father is a passionate aficionado, so cars were a constant topic of conversation when I was growing up. I have fond memories of him tinkering with his cars, and he continues to do so to this day…

Huge progress has been made towards electrification. 330 zero-emission vehicles are currently in the market globally, many of which are available in China, and around 870 zero-emission models are expected to be on the roads by 2033. 19% of global Light Vehicle sales are currently electrified. This figure is set to rise to 68% by 2033, with zero-emission vehicles accounting for 42% of total sales by then.

Self-driving cars, particularly those that are fully autonomous, are on a longer timeframe. Although estimates vary, we could start seeing fully autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2024-2025. Not only is the technology for Autonomous Vehicles far more complex but their deployment also requires major changes and upgrades to a country’s road infrastructure and legal framework. A transition period during which both human drivers and self-driving cars are simultaneously present could prove challenging, especially in the initial stages.

That is not to say that this will not be possible. In fact, innovations on the autonomous-driving front are nothing short of breathtaking. From a personal standpoint, I cannot wait for electrified and autonomous driving to come to full fruition and look forward to a new dawn in the automotive sector.