Advertisement

‘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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

"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
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020
“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”
News

“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”

Mike Rutherford thinks the motor industry can still do more to help provide life-saving medical kit
12 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Kia e-Niro 2020 review
Kia e-Niro SUV

New Kia e-Niro 2020 review

All-electric Kia e-Niro mid-sized SUV 
benefits from same updates as hybrid Niro versions
9 Jul 2020