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Automotive Language Service Providers and Auto Trends

How LSPs can assist auto companies

Recent shifts in the auto market are giving automotive companies new opportunities to stand out in a crowded field. These are the areas where innovative vehicle producers can improve their bottom lines:

  • Waning desire for car ownership
  • Increased customer reliance on web research
  • Demand for connected cars
  • Growth in emerging markets

Flexibility will be key to success in today's tech-driven auto world. Automotive language services providers can be powerful allies in facing these industry changes. Global presence and established expertise can provide Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with the missing pieces to support market shifts.

Here are some trends in the auto industry and how automotive translation services and automotive SEO services can help companies navigate these trends.

How Automotive Language Service Providers Can Help with Waning Desire for Car Ownership

For various reasons, car ownership is becoming less attractive to people, especially younger drivers. Firstly, the pandemic has changed the way people use cars. Most notably, more people work remotely at least some of their week. Per Forbes, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, and 28.2% work on a hybrid basis. Without a daily commute, people feel less urgency to own a car. The pandemic also spurred a walking revolution. Many people have come to appreciate, rather than dread, getting somewhere on their own feet. They’re more willing to walk or take some public transportation than drive.

Another reason car ownership has become less attractive is the rise in rider share programs like Uber and Lyft. These companies are more widespread than ever. Where it was once risky, it’s now easy for people to rely on one (or a combination) of these apps to get where they need to go.

A third reason is the cost. Costs of living have been steadily rising, as have layoffs. People hesitate to invest an average of $3,700 (US dollars) annually to own and maintain a car.

Lastly, environmental concerns are also steadily rising. The environmental impact of cars, even hybrid or electric vehicles, is preventing more and more people from buying. This is particularly true of younger demographics, who are often more concerned about climate crisis.

Digital car design

Car companies that can speak to these four factors will win back buyers’ attention — and their dollars. Automotive industry language solutions companies like Lionbridge can help develop multilingual social media, web pages, videos, and other content to address these potential buyer concerns.

Want to Grow? Speak Your Customer's Language

With today’s globalized market, OEMs must communicate their value to an increasing number of buyers who speak languages other than the company’s original language of business. Savvy manufacturers will leverage localization to capture customers in new markets.

A critical first step is ensuring prospective customers can interact with basic content in their native language. Additionally, altering content, tone, or style according to the target region can help vehicle sellers. Successful OEMs will modify their messaging to demonstrate how they can solve individual buyers’ specific problems. Here are two examples:

Buyers in rural areas need cars with high gas mileage and a hardy chassis. They often have long commutes on infrequently maintained roads.

Buyers in densely-settled cities often need maneuverability and anti-theft systems.

Thoughtful localization and strategic personalization (especially with help from automotive language services companies) can modify the car-buying experience and encourage customers along their path to purchase. Fortunately, a growing preference among buyers for online research helps companies disseminate localized, targeted content easily.

Internet Research and Utilizing Automotive Language Service Providers

Potential vehicle buyers frequently interact with sellers after doing their research. According to a Capital One report, 59% of car buyers want to research vehicles online before going to the dealership. (Strikingly, only 28% of dealers predict buyers will research vehicles online before visiting.) Increased web traffic means online sales may provide a promising revenue stream, particularly in areas where opening a brick-and-mortar location would offer limited returns. Even in areas where a physical location is feasible, they aren’t as effective as they used to be. Buyers typically visit only one or two dealerships today, rather than the five or six they did in the past.

Companies that want to reach buyers should consider utilizing automotive SEO services or automotive industry linguistic services to translate their online content.

Cars driving with a digital map overlay

New Opportunities for Digital Marketing

While these changes reduce the potential impact of powerful in-person salesmanship, the shift also opens the door for aggressive content marketing. Companies that share details about their models and organizations can claim more pre-purchase interaction time. A business that demonstrates expertise in its customers’ interests via traditional text and emerging voice search will increase its sales.

Educated buyers are advantageous for another reason. They’re often a warmer lead since they’ve already decided on brand merit when initiating in-person contact.

Of course, web content also has the benefit of being relatively easy to translate, especially for auto companies working with an LSP with industry expertise.

Technology Transformations and Assistance from Automotive Language Service Providers

Prospects are armed with research and are increasingly interested in customizing their vehicles in myriad ways. Increasing modularity allows more precise personalization—a driving factor in purchases.

Some personalization options are obvious:

  • Color
  • Interior fabric
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Others are more cutting-edge, such as software that responds to the operator’s needs. It can assist with scenarios such as this:

  • A business owner worried about speeding fleet drivers can cap vehicle speeds.

  • A concerned parent can ensure the car turns on only when all passengers buckle their seat belts.

The connected car also offers opportunities for service add-ons and paid upgrades. This extends the profitability life cycle. Every technology improvement is an opportunity to differentiate a brand. Through partnerships and software development, companies can carve a specialty niche. Standing out in a saturated market is an excellent way to gain customers and their loyalty.

Working with automotive language service providers is vital to ensure these new features appeal to wider markets. Auto companies should translate the content for these new languages into commonly-used languages.

Get in touch

Market changes present new challenges to auto manufacturing companies, but also open incredible opportunities. OEMs and their teams can embrace these opportunities and challenges with help from agile marketing and localization experts. Learn more about how Lionbridge can support your auto business. Read our Q&A with automotive team leaders and get in touch.

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Samantha Keefe