Auto sales are rocketing.
In November, the industry sold $1 billion worth of new vehicles a day, setting a record for that month.
And this flood tide of new vehicles will have more cutting-edge technology than ever before, creating a perfect profit storm of two exploding industries.
This is the most exciting time I've ever seen in the industry since I began tracking it 34 years ago.
And here's the thing: Google and Apple are excited, too. They'll make plenty of money on this trend, as you're about to see. But the "pure play" here is a much better investment…
Hi-Tech Now Comes Standard
I began following the auto industry back in March 1980 when I arrived in Detroit as a young analyst.
Back when I arrived, cars and trucks featured little beyond auto hardware and a few technical add-ons.
Their counterparts today are brimming with advanced sensors, semiconductors, micro-controllers, software, voice-activated GPS, and glitzy infotainment systems.
Yet when investors talk about exciting new technology trends, they often refer to sectors like Big Data, the mobile revolution, or cloud computing.
Few put the new cutting-edge auto industry on their short list of tech growth sectors to watch.
In this era of the "connected car," that's a huge mistake, and a great opportunity for you to win on this stock I've followed for years….
Older Cars on the Road Now Will Drive a New "Tech Refresh"
A wide range of exciting new tech features are helping the auto industry rack up new sales records.
With the average age of cars in the United States today at 11.4 years old, I expect new car sales to be strong for the next two to five years. Yes, in terms of reliability, many used cars and light-duty trucks can last well beyond 200,000 miles.
But from a technology standpoint, cars over a decade old are ancient, meaning we are poised for an auto-technology "refresh" cycle.
That's what the connected car is all about. Both domestic and foreign auto firms are integrating Bluetooth for wireless communications as well as Wi-Fi right into their dashboards.
This allows drivers and passengers to perform such tasks as sending and receiving text messages through voice-to-text services that aren't distracting.
Basically, carmakers realize that with the pervasive use of smartphones and tablet computers, consumers live in an always-on, high-tech world, and so automakers are building cars that fit into that lifestyle.
For instance, General Motors has already said it plans to equip almost all of its 2015 models with constant wireless broadband connections.
All of which helps explain why Silicon Valley leaders are targeting autos as their next big battleground.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) is forging alliances that will help make its Android mobile operating system, which dominates in smartphones, a key feature for automobiles.
Industry sources say Google is working with the German auto firm Audi to integrate Android right into the dashboard. The team wants to allow drivers and passengers to access navigation, apps, and music similar to the way they operate Android-powered smartphones.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.