The pecking order has been replaced by an electric car. Little-known Chinese brands like Aiways and Zeekr have to fight for their place, and will European brands like Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen survive?
Aiways is one of the Chinese brands to try. We recently tested their new Aiways U6 Coupé. There are brands with a more attractive star. The competitor Polestar 2 with 49,000 euros is certainly not a bargain and the range of 400 km and the charging speed of 90 kW are more average values. Predecessor U5 has been a flop so far, with only one car officially registered last year.
However, the Dutch importer hopes to attract customers with an attractive design, an ‘old fashioned’ dealer network (rather than online shopping), short delivery times and a subscription option, which is a huge success at Lynk & Co. I would think: make an EV under 20,000 euros very quickly and you will be as good a buyer as a new Chinese brand. There is a greater need for this than the tenth electric car that is out of reach for most Belgians and Dutch people. Aiways says it is working on such a car, but cannot yet give an exact year of introduction.
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Does Alfa Romeo still exist?
It is not just a question of whether the new Chinese brands will survive. Traditional European brands should also work. The recently facelifted Alfa Romeo Giulia is a final salute to everything that has made the brand great. And it’s still a great ride. But in times of electrification you cannot build on the glorious past. The question is how a brand that is synonymous with advanced engine technology and good driving characteristics will differentiate itself from its plug-in models. Especially now that Alfa Romeo has recorded sales figures for many years.
Every brand is actively looking for new trends. Mercedes and Jaguar will focus on more affluent customers, Volkswagen is changing its course with the ID.2all concept car and wants to be a car brand for the people again. The pecking order has been replaced by an electric car. Whether the origin is Chinese or European, no brand is guaranteed a smooth future.