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“There is nothing permanent except change.”

...said a wise Greek philosopher many years ago. Clearly, he didn’t read the Express. Last month they printed a headline boldly stating ‘UK Drivers hesitant to switch to less-known EV brands’!

According to their sources British drivers would prefer to stay with traditional car brands. Interesting & head-turning in a tabloid way, but is it true?

The survey of 800 What Car? website users revealed while 28% of buyers are currently in the market for an electric car, 32% would be more willing to buy one from a traditional vehicle manufacturer than they would from a new electric car brand.

So surely that suggests 68% would be more willing to buy one from a NEW electric car brand? Quite a change from the attention-grabbing headline & echoing an excellent piece of research that I read in 2019 by Sapio Research for Foxtrot Papa.

They asked 1,000 UK adults how they perceived electric vehicles. Did they see them as a feat of engineering, like their combustion engined forefathers or as a feat of technology, closer to an iPhone than a traditional ‘car’?

They discovered 29% of those surveyed thought electric-only manufacturers like Tesla were most suited to make EVs, and 20% said they’d prefer EVs from brands with a heritage in technology or energy supply rather than traditional engineering.

Their research also suggested little brand ownership of the category with 35% of consumers not knowing what brand of EV they would choose. And even where brands were chosen, there was no obvious leader.

So, it looks like with a shift to electric vehicles, hard earned brand equity built over the last century on engineering excellence could be eroded almost overnight? What about these new emerging brands, have they got everything their way? Well no, not really.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car? , said: “The influx of new electric vehicle brands is positive for the industry, giving buyers a wider choice of models, and challenging existing manufacturers, which should increase the rate of technological development. Brand awareness will, however, be a key challenge for many.”

So although in-market and open to consideration the Express article revealed 56% of these What Car? users had not heard of any of the following EV only brands before; Faraday FutureFisker IncLucid MotorsLynk & CoNIOPolestarRivian, or WM.

Polestar is currently the best known new EV brand with 41% recall but it's taken a huge effort to get there. Emerging brands have a real task in raising awareness and getting on the consideration list before their competitors.

BYD has overtaken Tesla in global EV sales and is coming to the UK soon, as is Rivian’s R1S in 2022 and Fisker’s Ocean One SUV in 2023. Amazing vehicles but a huge job to do increasing brand and product awareness. Something a great automotive agency like We Are Acuity would relish. Exciting times lay ahead.

“Change in all things is sweet” said another smart Greek. Would you consider a change?


If you work within automotive, be it a retailer or at brand level, we’d love to understand your view and talk to you about the future of auto retailing. Why not schedule a FREE 30-minute assessment today here? It will be well worth your time.

Or alternatively read more about Local Marketing on our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog

#marketing #electric #branding

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