For many years, Tesla and Prius were the two names people thought of when it came to electric vehicles. Those were the two cars that were famous for EVs. As the electric vehicle market becomes more mature, every manufacturer now has electric vehicles. Ford, Volvo, and Chrysler all have electric vehicles now.
The Shift Away from Traditional Brand Loyalty
In the past, people always gravitated toward one brand and stuck with it. For example, Ford families bought a lot of Fords or Subarus. Electric vehicles may not have the same type of brand loyalty, and the reason why is because the engine, transmission, and styling are a little more of a commodity with electric vehicles.
The Rise of Electric Vehicle Uniformity
Most people, when they bought a vehicle, liked the styling of, let’s say, a Ford or a Chrysler, or they liked the engine that was in it. People liked that same platform. Well, nowadays, electric vehicles are a lot more similar to one another. It’s almost like a commodity, and the engine doesn’t exist; it’s an electric motor. So, nobody really cares about what the mechanics of the vehicle are.
The Disruption of Brand Loyalty
As noted in this Wall Street Journal article, brand loyalty may not be a thing anymore. It used to be that while Toyota could count on a lot of brand loyalty, so could Subaru. But as electric vehicles become more ubiquitous and more people own them, the factories may not be able to count on that loyalty. It may not be a Toyota family anymore.
A Wide Spectrum of Buyers for Electric Vehicles
Early results from actual sales are showing that, for example, Rivian, which makes or is making that new electric truck, is seeing a wide spectrum of car buyers that are buying it. Some own thirty thousand dollar Subarus; some own a hundred thousand dollar Porsches. The same thing is happening with Galpin Motors, which owns one of the biggest Ford dealerships that sells electric vehicles—they’re seeing trade-ins for everything from BMWs to commuter cars to trucks.
Limited Choices: Pushing Consumers Beyond Traditional Brands
Buying electric vehicles is partly due to the fact that some brands don’t have electric vehicles yet or a wide range. There’s a limited window to pursue EV buyers because some selection remains narrow, leaving some EV buyers with little choice but to explore other brands because their brand may not have a good electric vehicle.
Auto Industry Recognition: Shift
Auto executives are recognizing this. It’s a bit unnatural right now, with the market not filled in. Historically, automakers relied on loyalty to protect market share. On average, about half the people who owned a brand returned to buy another one of that brand. But the electric vehicle transition makes for an opportunity. EV buyers are willing to broaden their searches because of the slim availability across the industry.
Beyond vehicle types, disruption of brands
Electric vehicle disruption is disrupting more than just the type of vehicle; it’s disrupting the brands that people are considering.