European city cars get connected image

It’s not what you might think in first place, although some of them are indeed connected, sharing the same underlying architecture. The new cars get now more connected with their users, via smartphone interactivity with the car.

With European sales at a decade low due to the economic crisis, consumers have geared towards making purchases that are easier on the wallet – which also means that new-car sales of the more affordable city cars have grown to encompass now around 10% of the market.

Models, like the Opel Adam Rocks, and the triumvirate of Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, for example – all new models displayed during the Geneva auto show have in common the ability to take what’s on your smartphone – like maps, music, etc. – and make them available on the car’s larger infotainment displays.

“What used to be a feature seen in premium cars is now coming in to the low and medium end of the market,” said Dinesh Paliwal, CEO of Harman International. “It’s driven by a change in lifestyle where people no longer want to stop being connected just because they are in a car.”

IHS Automotive says that based on its research, the A-segment sales should rise as much as 11% in the years 2013 to 2017, but each automaker needs to address the younger drivers expectations (which make for a good part of the segment’s buyers) of getting information and entertainment – eg. infotainment – directly from their smartphone.

Via Automotive News Europe