‘Could brave new world end badge snobbery?'

Editor Graham Hope ponders how new 'non-car' manufacturers are going to shape the industry

Opinion - Waymo

We all know the car world is racing towards an era of change the likes of which we have never seen before. Connectivity, autonomy and electrification mean we’ll see an onslaught of vehicles over the next couple of decades that are radically different from what we’re accustomed to. We truly are living in exciting times.

But could this brave new world also spell the end – or at least accelerate the decline – of one of the industry’s less appealing and more perplexing elements: badge snobbery? That was one of the thoughts that occurred to me last week when Dyson, best known for making vacuum cleaners, announced it would be entering the car market

Best electric cars on sale

Dyson is merely the latest ‘non-car’ company to signal its intent to venture into automotive territory, following Google, Apple and Samsung. Meanwhile, a wave of more conventional, but new, car brands are on their way to the west from China.

And as I found out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, established tech firms see massive opportunities to increase their influence once fully autonomous cars become the norm. The landscape is changing, and fast.

It’s autonomy, in particular, that I think presents the biggest challenge to what we see as the current establishment. I’ve asked countless executives why we should bother what badge is on a vehicle that drives itself, and am yet to receive a convincing response. As people get used to being transported in this manner, I think badges will become less important.

And as this mindset becomes more prevalent, I believe consumers will become more accepting of new vehicle makers. So don’t be surprised if more fresh names – some we haven’t even heard of yet – follow Dyson and enter the car industry in the months and years ahead.

Would you buy a car from people who made your smartphone or vacuum? Let us know in the comments below.

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020