The success of electric cars does not seem to back up and even inspires new brands all over the world. Created in less than two years by a billionaire, Vinfast, the first Vietnamese car brand, has already been delivering an SUV and a sedan to its market for six months. This new little automobile dragon intends to shake up competition in Southeast Asia before tackling Europe, with its 12 new models in preparation, including electric cars! In Turkey, a consortium called "Togg", supported by the Erdogan government, has also developed two prototypes of electric cars scheduled to launch in 2022.
And in Europe too! In Poland, a zero emission city car could be released within 2 to 3 years, the fruit of the collaboration of 4 engineers. Norway may also have its first automaker with Fresco. This start-up has just reached 3000 reservations for a 100% electric model ... which does not yet exist. We will have to wait until 2021 to discover its prototype.
>> Find all of Jean-Pierre Montanay's chronicles in replay and podcast here
How to explain that all these countries want to have a national manufacturer? A matter of pride and prestige, because the auto industry says a lot about the health of a country's economy. Mercedes embodies German power, the UK is inconsolable after the loss of all its flagships, Rolls Royce or Bentley left under the German flag, and Jaguar ceded to India, a former colony.
New perspectives but an uncertain future
It was Elon Musk who opened up new perspectives for this industry. He changed the game in 2012 with the electric Tesla. Building internal combustion engines requires special and above all dissuasive know-how, which is not the case with cars with batteries that are much less complicated to produce. This is why all these small countries are throwing themselves headlong into the battle for the car of the future ... even if their commercial future looks risky.
The automobile is indeed an industry where fierce competition is rife and where the brand image is decisive. With exploding sales and the good health of its battery factory, Tesla is in the process of winning its bet, as evidenced by its meteoric rise on the stock market. But it is another story for these small manufacturers: that they drill into their domestic markets, boosted by economic nationalism, is one thing. That tomorrow, Turkish, Vietnamese, Norwegian Polish cars will make German, French and American people tremble, that seems unlikely. But who knows? The car will change era, and the electric can shuffle the cards.