Imagine If Automakers Actually Tried to Promote Plug-In Vehicles


Outlander PHEV Wrecked by Euro NCAP - Old News to Us

Outlander PHEV Wrecked by Euro NCAP – Old News to Us

On December 6, 2013 Mitsubishi Motors put out a press release touting the Outlander PHEV’s 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.  Here’s a snippet of that press release:



Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that the company’s Outlander PHEV mid-size crossover/SUV featuring MMC’s own Plug-in Hybrid EV System has been awarded a maximum 5-star rating in the 2013 Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), an overall safety rating system for new models launched in Europe*1. Euro NCAP puts new cars through some of the world’s toughest safety tests, including an array of crash tests.

Of course, this isn’t “new” news to readers of InsideEVs.

We reported on the Outlander PHEV’s Euro NCAP results back in November.

Outlander PHEV Gets 5 Stars

Outlander PHEV Gets 5 Stars

What surprises us is that we somehow managed to get the information out to the world prior to Mitsubishi.

We Really Wish That the Automakers Would Do a Better Job at Promoting Their EVs to the Masses

We Really Wish That the Automakers Would Do a Better Job at Promoting Their EVs to the Masses

The problem here is that this seems typical when it comes to plug-in vehicles.  What we mean by this is that most automakers don’t promote their plug-ins as well as they do ICE vehicles.  This is especially noticeable over at General Motors, where almost no mention of the Chevy Volt or Spark EV ever comes directly from GM’s marketing team.

In fact, it seems to be the case that only Renault-Nissan and Tesla Motors put forth the required marketing efforts for plug-in vehicles.

The rest of the automakers just don’t display marketing love for plug-ins.  That’s a shame really.  Just imagine if General Motors put as much weight behind the Chevy Volt as it does the Corvette.  Or if Ford promoted its plug ins as strongly as it does the F-150 or Mustang.

Imagine where we’d be now if all the plug-in makers promoted the vehicles as if they actually wanted to sell them in volume.

Categories: General, Mitsubishi

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19 Comments on "Imagine If Automakers Actually Tried to Promote Plug-In Vehicles"

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I don’t see any Corvette ads and Tesla doesn’t spend any $ on ads. Seems like all I ever see are truck ads.

And luxury cars (BMW, infinity, Lexus, Cadillac)

Yes, but what does Tesla pay behind the scenes to get on CNBC so often? And do they do that through investment bankers relying on strong returns? Remember the payola schemes of the music industry back in “the day?”

I think the real problem is that plugins do not bring a lot, if any, profit thus far…….

Exactly. Think of it this way – you have some fixed ad budget. You can spend it promoting big trucks and luxury cars that yield thousands of dollars per vehicle sold in profit. Or you can promote the Volt or Leaf that break even. Which helps the bottom line more?

It’s not just making a profit. It is how much profit, and whether that profit is less than the profit in ICE, it’s lower costs, higher parts and maintenance mark up, plus that one’ness with the oil (and the ‘spec’ motor oil) industry.

When boards decide it’s a space they WANT to play in, marketing teams will wake up.

Tesla gets the best free press money can buy….


Hyperloop anyone? 😉

I actually do see a fair amount of Ford plug in commercials for it’s CMax/Fusion Energi models. The “How far can you go on $20” commercials. See Leaf commercials sometimes as well as the Smart commercials too. Don’t remember any Volt or any other plug ins.

Yes, but it took almost a year before they started running those. The C-Max Energi came out over a year ago (Oct ’12). Just in the last couple months have I started seeing Energi billboards around the area here.

Plug-ins are just a niche product for all carmakers except Tesla. They are not about changing the world, they are done for a variety of strategic reasons but mostly to do with compliance.

Tesla is the exception and doing such a good job of its product that the press is picking up on it to the extend that Tesla needs to do very little marketing efforts itself. I think the most expensive “marketing expense” for Tesla is the Supercharger network that buys Tesla the priceless “free for life” slogan in an age of ever more expensive automotive fuels.

If large car manufacturers were interested on electric vehicles, they would produce a compelling long range electric vehicles. But they do not.

Wow nice member to the msstubiihi family one question..which mode do we use during normal drive? Also how much will it costin AUS$ ive own 3 msstubiihis and curently 09 outlander..three words love that car

I’d like to see a bold Chevy Dealer with deep pockets refuse to sell and service any Chevy car that’s not a plug-in. Can you imagine the ads that dealer could run? We only sell plug-in cars that reduce dependence on oil and are better for the environment, because it’s the right thing to do.


With the onslaught of models that VW wants to have on the market in a few years, this may happen first with specialized dealers of VW.

Mass marketing won’t happen for Full EV’s from manufacturers until their next gen models. First gen is essentially a grand public test for the manufacturer along with public education and acceptance. The tiny group that initially lead in EV acceptance can’t drive the segment, and are not expected to. During the first 3-5 years manufacturers learn, make adjustments/improvements, and allow time for their battery/component suppliers to do the same. As both manufacturers and suppliers improve on the product and it’s delivery, the costs begin to drop over that same time period. While at the same time developing the next gen EV technology/models, at lower cost, with more range, for a much broader launch and audience. Manufacturers use low volume to limit the impact on the public during the technology test period. Except for Nissan who jumped in, but will have far reaching battery capacity issued that will do more harm to their brand long term as it relates to EVs. Which means it should be 2015/16 when we start to see a mass market push for EVs. Where prices have dropped on battery/components and manufacturers plan to launch EVs with range at a more acceptable 200+ miles for the mass… Read more »
@Bloggin, I agree that until a manufacturer has a mass market EV, they won’t push it. However, even when they do, I think their ad budget will be focused the largest revenue drivers. That will continue to be luxury and larger vehicles plus some brand identity ads. Based on the advertising I see, the car makers don’t push features so much as emotion, like the Camry thrill ride commercials (which I detest) or the pickup truck towing a 100 ft Christmas tree or the obnoxious Caddy ad where the guy smiles as he is, literally, blowing the doors off all the cars he passes.. Even when they push features, it about “best in class” or award based. Where a manufacturer might feature an EV or PHEV would be to establish some sort of brand identity as being a leader in the new world – VW would be my bet though Toyota with the PI Prius could make that case as well. If Tesla had an ad for the Model S, it would be something like – fastest off the line or “they’ll never hear you coming until it’s too late” or a bunch of head-turning people (usually hot young women)… Read more »

Simply having all the majors get a PHEV into showrooms is a major first step. At some point the economies of electricity become the elephant in the room.

Adding publicly accessible charging stations up front could be a good start too.