What car brands gain by going electric

By now, almost every major automotive manufacturer has announced that they’re developing a range of electric vehicles. What started as a trend spearheaded by flashy tech companies such as Tesla has become a mainstream reality for car buyers: it seems that electric vehicles are here to stay.

As competition increases, we’ve examined recent automotive announcements and dived into Starcount’s insight to understand which manufacturers are poised for success in the electric space, and which consumers they should target to maximise sales.

‘Batteries included as Hyundai amps up electric car ambitions’

Hyundai have hit the news recently for their commitment to developing dedicated architecture for electric cars, with Reuters stating that the manufacturer is ‘seeking to catch up with the likes of Tesla’ by launching multiple electric models.

The claim that Hyundai are specifically seeking to take on Tesla with their electric strategy is an interesting one and, if true, is perhaps a misguided approach for the former brand. Starcount’s social intelligence shows that there is an overlap of only 8.7% between UK-based Hyundai and Tesla fans, indicating that any attempt to replicate the tech brand’s success by using similar messaging would not necessarily achieve the same effect.

The radial charts below show how well each car brand is speaking to Starcount’s six automotive consumer segments.

Unsurprisingly, Tesla resonates very well with the Tech Savvy consumers, as well as with the High Net Worths and Environment segments.

Hyundai, however, isn’t talking at all to the Tech Savvy audience, explaining the lack of common interest with the innovative frontrunner.

Interestingly, Hyundai is beginning to resonate with the Car Enthusiasts and Environment segments, indicating that its new automotive range has a greater chance of making an impact with eco-conscious motoring fans.

‘Mercedes-Benz speeds up the launch timeline for 10 new electric vehicles’ 

As reported by Tech Crunch, Mercedes Benz recently accelerated their scheduled launch of electric vehicles, declaring they will product 10 new electric models by 2022 – 3 years earlier than previously announced. This, the publication claims, is due to the manufacturer’s desire to ‘lead not follow’ in this industry shift.

We’ve looked at Starcount’s data to understand why Mercedes Benz see the transition to electric vehicles as quite so urgent, and how their new strategy might affect the type of consumers they attract.

When we examine how Mercedes Benz fares with the UK automotive audience, it is least strong with the Tech Savvy and Environment groups, with a stronghold within High Net Worths and Family Values.

This implies that Mercedes Benz are hoping to attract to an entirely new audience with their upcoming electric models. If they continue to speak to their loyal fan base successfully, whilst also appealing to the Tech Savvy and Environment groups (both of which are very important in the electric car space), then they should expect to see their popularity soar.

This positive result can be further supported by looking at Mercedes’ audience growth over time. The chart below shows the manufacturer’s new followers since 2015, split between existing car fans (pale green) and new car fans (dark green).

There is a distinct surge in followers in late summer 2016, which coincides with the brand’s initial announcement that they were scheduling the launch of 10 new electric vehicles. This announcement, therefore, clearly piqued the interest of both new and existing car fans, indicating Mercedes Benz are correct in their assumption that the production of electric vehicles will bring them new business.

For a copy of Starcount's automotive whitepaper, please contact Jade.Wood@Starcount.com