‘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.

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road
Range Rover Sport spyshot 1
Land Rover Range Rover Sport

New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road

Land Rover’s replacement for the Range Rover Sport will get racier styling and an all-new electric-ready platform
20 Jul 2021