Are electric vehicles redefining the scope and scale of brand loyalty?this is an opinion

Electric vehicles such as electric vehicles are gradually taking over the roads of the world, and the global market dynamics are constantly changing. Manufacturers—whether established or those gaining a foothold—either offer battery-powered models, or at least consider the merits of making the switch. But the buying patterns and preferences of customers in the EV ecosystem are also changing. And it is developing rapidly. Brand loyalty may not mean much in current and upcoming plans.

Electric vehicles are making new inroads in the global and Indian automotive space, creating a level playing field that may not depend on brand loyalty.

Traditional auto giants such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors have mostly realized that even their most devoted fans might drive an EV that isn’t part of their portfolio. Take the United States as an example, where Tesla opened up a huge gap and now has a loyal following that is second to none. Tesla models have enjoyed a near cult following here and in many other parts of the world, helping the company become by far the largest maker of electric vehicles. Just because a family has been buying and driving a Ford or Toyota doesn’t guarantee that its first or next electric car will be a Ford or Toyota.

Most experts agree that the determinant of brand loyalty will still largely depend on how quickly the traditional giants can bring powerful electric vehicles to market. “Electric vehicles are disrupting the loyalty model automakers have become accustomed to, and it will be interesting to see whether the increase in the number of EV models in mainstream brands will bring consumers back to loyalty altogether, or whether brand loyalty will become a trend. That is all in the past, according to CarScoops, citing Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Edmunds Insights.

But that’s not to say brand loyalty will become completely irrelevant. In fact, there are signs that a trend reversal is also very likely. Tesla is maturing and may not be able to profit from the novelty factor for very long. A young electric vehicle buying cohort may drive new players on board, but brands like Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes, and others are doing their best to entice and wow.

Indian Electric Vehicle Landscape

Without further ado, Tata Motors has pretty much run free in the EV space and has dominated the still fairly small market for battery-powered vehicles. Nexon EV is the supreme leader in electric vehicles here, and a large portion of its customer base may never have bought a Tata vehicle before. Of course, this is an assumption.

But the Indian auto market is also unique, and the success of the Nexon EV may be due to a lack of competition in the Indian auto market, among other reasons. $1.2 million to $2 million rupees price. Companies such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, which have dominated the traditional PV space, either don’t have EVs in the “affordable” price range, or don’t have EVs at all.

Also watch: Tata Nexon EV Max road drive review

In the field of electric two-wheelers, new players such as Ola Electric, Ather Energy and Okinawa Autotech have poured in to challenge Hero MotoCorp, TVS, Hero Electric and others. Brand loyalty means even less here.

So going forward, there may be no point in dwelling on past glories unless brands (both old and new) adapt and evolve to match the changing dynamics.

First published date: June 27, 2023 at 13:25 PM EST

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