Tesla, MG, Seres, Ionity, Chargemap… These brands that are shaking up the automotive market

General Motors, Toyota, Renault, Fiat… For a long time, large groups born for the most part in the first half of the 20th century dominated the automotive world and its imagination. Admittedly, they fought a fierce battle among themselves, but they cultivated very similar production and marketing methods. The transition to electric is favoring the arrival of new competitors for the first time in decades. Starting with Tesla.

Since the launch of its first model with high circulation, in 2012, the American brand led by the whimsical Elon Musk has become the largest car market capitalization and the first manufacturer of electrics in the world with nearly a million copies delivered. in 2021. Thanks to the opening of new production sites in Europe, in Berlin, and in China, in Shanghai, this company, both technological and automotive, is giving itself the means for rapid growth. A success that its traditional competitors are now trying to copy, even if none yet manages to offer such sober and efficient electric motors.

The breakthrough of the Chinese

Tesla is not a unique example. In Europe, the advent of Chinese brands long confined to their domestic market is now a reality. The most significant breakthrough is that made by MG, a brand belonging to the state group Saic, which only offers electrified models in France. Its success is based on very competitive prices, but also on very traditional methods: “The fact of carrying the name of a historic English brand allows us to take advantage of the craze around the classic car, indicates Julien Robert, director of sales France. Furthermore, we have chosen a conservative method of distribution. You don’t buy an MG on the Internet, but from a dealer that is often already very established locally: we have 130 today in France.”

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An effective strategy that has enabled it to sell 10,000 cars in our territory since its arrival in May 2020. This manufacturer with global ambitions has already passed Renault in the United Kingdom, the European market where it is best established. And beware: other Asian brands follow, such as Seres, belonging to Dongfeng, another Chinese group, or the Vietnamese Vinfast. Both have also been offering their battery-powered models on the Old Continent for a few months.

From BlaBlaCar to Ionity: the revolution in uses

The automotive object is not the only one to be upset by new actors; its use also changes. The digital revolution has thus enabled the development of carpooling thanks to dedicated applications. The most emblematic success in this area is that of BlaBlaCar, founded in 2003. After a setback caused by the health crisis, the rise in fuel prices enabled it to resume its growth by recording an increase of… 172% of the number of seats offered between January and March and thus exceed its 2019 scores.. They saw daily carpooling as the best way to reduce seemingly incompressible costs.”

The new habits imposed by the electric car have also given rise to an entirely new ecosystem, that of charging stations, a burgeoning market that is just beginning to rationalize. Among the new players, the name of the Ionity consortium is now part of the common vocabulary of motorists. It has established itself as THE specialist in fast motorway charging thanks to a network that should increase from 400 stations today to 1,500 in 2025.

The problem of top-ups provided on the territory by a wide variety of distributors has also favored the emergence of compatible “passes”, that is to say cards allowing payment without systematically taking out a new subscription. The French reference in this area is Chargemap, the most widely used application for locating and identifying terminals in France and in Europe. “The badges were different depending on the network, so crossing France by electric car was hell, explains Yoann Nussbaumer, its founder. Our pass was released in 2017 after raising half a million euros. Today we cover almost all of Europe with 230,000 charging points.”

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The multiplication of these new manufacturers and service providers makes it possible to measure the extent of the change. The world of motorists, once loyal generation after generation to established brands, has been turned upside down in barely ten years.


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