Car trends in 2014: Efficiency, light-weight and connectivity

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Updated 27 April 2014

Car trends in 2014: Efficiency, light-weight and connectivity

At a press conference hosted by the World Car Awards (WCA) at the New York International Auto Show, an expert panel comprising 69 of the world’s top automotive journalists debated today’s top global trends in the automotive industry.
The conference revealed some key findings of a scientific study conducted by PRIME Research which included major trends such as efficiency, lightweight materials, design, connectivity and new energy cars as the most important media trends of 2014.
These trends form part of a bigger picture within the automotive industry, which PRIME Research have identified as the “smart efficiency cluster”.
This “efficiency cluster” is driven by the downsizing of engines, significant weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and new energy power trains; particularly plug-in hybrids.
“Utilizing this efficiency cluster is the challenge for all manufacturers and brands today and in the near future,” remarked Rainer Mathes, chairman of PRIME Research, which conducted the study in conjunction with the World Car Awards.
Mathes also said that lightweight materials were under the radar two years ago, yet in 2014 moved into the spotlight as the second most important aspect driven by interest in engine downsizing and the use of aluminum.
The Ford F150 and BMW i3 have helped in bringing materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber to the mass market as affordable solutions for weight-saving.
Following the media hype in 2012, electric vehicles are losing momentum. After two years of being among the Top three, EVs now rank as the fifth most important trend.
Plug-in hybrids are seen as the most promising electric drivetrain option moving forward, but the onset of premium electric vehicles — driven by the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S — bring electric vehicles back into the spotlight.
Stories written about these two models accounted for over 40 percent of all media coverage on electric vehicles. They have the ability to become game changers.
The World Car jurors also voiced strong opinions on connectivity; which is already a key factor in evaluating a car. Digital cars rank as the fourth most important trend, with infotainment and connectivity systems seen as increasingly significant. Tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft have now joined the game: teaming up with automotive brands to create the next generation of digital cars.
PRIME Research International is a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy and partners of the World Car Awards’ research.
The company provides strategic reports in 2014 that analyze the awards’ global automotive media coverage.
Now in their 11th year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world’s most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.
The awards were inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale.
The awards are intended to complement, not compete with, existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.


Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents

Updated 04 June 2020

Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents

  • US state allowed a partial relaxing of restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic
  • Elective medical procedures resume, including Botox injections and cosmetic surgery

MIAMI: Quarantined Florida residents worried about their laughter lines and crows’ feet need frown no longer — Botox is back, and it’s being offered at a drive-through.
On May 4, the US state allowed a partial relaxing of restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic. That means certain elective medical procedures could resume, including Botox injections and cosmetic surgery.
Michael Salzhauer, a plastic surgeon known as ‘Dr. Miami’ who has also starred in a reality television show, has been conducting drive-through Botox injections in the garage of his building in the posh Miami neighborhood of Bal Harbor.
Salzhauer said the idea struck him as he was sitting in his car waiting for a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies.
“The areas that we inject Botox are the upper face, exactly the parts of the face that aren’t covered by the mask so it’s really ideal,” Salzhauer said, while wearing a mask, face shield and surgical gown as he waited for his next drive-up patient.
Patients sign up online, paying an average of $600 each for a stippling of shots across their foreheads.
Arman Ohevshalom, 36, was enthusiastic as he waited in line with his wife in their car, although it was their first time receiving the injections.
“It’s very creative, and after seeing how they’re running it I feel just as comfortable as I would in the office,” he said.
Florida’s tattoo artists, however, are frustrated. Shuttered since March, they asking why they cannot open, too.
Botox injections are “kind of like tattooing, he’s injecting stuff into the skin,” said tattoo shop owner Chico Cortez. Florida is home to about 10,000 working tattoo artists, according to the Florida Professional Tattoo Artist Guild.
An emailed statement from a Miami-Dade County spokesperson said Mayor Carlos Gimenez has yet to set a date for reopening tattoo shops. “He is working with industry members and the medical experts to come up with the best way to reopen safely,” it said.