In neutral: Auto makers finished 2018 with mixed U.S. sales results while defying expectations for a down year. The Wall Street Journal reports the industry’s sales for last year are expected to hit about 17.2 million vehicles when December and full-year results are tallied later today, which would be in line with the total from 2017. That would mark a record fourth straight year of at least 17 million vehicles sold, a resilient showing for an industry prone to boom-and-bust cycles. Read the full story.
Virtually now: The future of technology will be on display next week at CES, a consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas that serves as a window into the year’s hottest tech trends. The New York Times reports artificially intelligent virtual assistants will take center stage as the most important tech topic, with companies big and small expected to showcase voice-controlled devices like robot vacuums, alarm clocks, refrigerators and car accessories. Read the full story.
Stream on: Streaming video blasted beyond any tipping point in 2018 and will command even more attention in the coming year, but challenges lie ahead in the fight for viewers’ eyeballs and pocketbooks. As USA Today reports, there’s no question consumers love watching—and binging—TV and movies via subscription streaming services. Consumers’ embrace of Netflix and other services continued to rise in 2018, as about 7 in 10 U.S. households (69%) now access a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu—up from 52% in 2015—according to Leichtman Research Group. Read the full story.