A recent article by Automotive News highlights the latest quarterly report from affiliates AdAge and Harris Poll. The poll ranks various brands based on how much young people's (Generation Z's) perception of the brands has changed from one quarter to the next.
Interestingly, five automotive brands made it into the top 20 on the list of brands recognized and acknowledged by Gen Z, and they're not trendy startups following Tesla's path. Instead, the 18 to 24-year-olds in the poll mentioned several legacy automakers, a few of which have only ever brought a single EV to market.
BMW made the fourth spot on the list overall, and it was also the top-ranked automaker. The overall leader for the quarter was the Aldi grocery store chain. In the second and third positions overall, we find WNBA and Blue Bunny ice cream.
At any rate, Harris Poll CEO Will Johnson notes that the automotive brands are making the list and placing higher than they did in the past thanks to electric cars. His words, "EVs are driving a lot of momentum."
This is somewhat interesting since, while Volvo has been electrifying most of its products for some time – and BMW is starting to crank out EVs – Mini and Subaru only offer one electric option each. Moreover, Subaru's Solterra electric SUV just came to market, though the brand has been advertising it heavily. Meanwhile, while Cadillac has grand plans to become an EV-only brand going forward, it only has one pricey electric option or sale (the Lyriq crossover), and another, much more expensive, model (Celestiq) coming soon.
Volvo took the 5th position on the poll. The Swedish luxury carmaker is no stranger to electrification, making almost every vehicle in its lineup available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with a respectable electric driving range. It also offers two smaller and relatively affordable electric crossovers, the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. Volvo CEO Jim Rowan says the brand is currently targeting Gen Z with another upcoming electric crossover. He admits:
"Gen Z ... is our next market. We don't talk to Gen Z right now, the brand has never really spoken to that younger demographic. We are absolutely heading in that direction."
Subaru came in at No. 7 on the list as a whole. Automotive News writes that the Japanese brand launched a major ad campaign in November 2022 entitled "Share the Love." Subaru has been touting its charitable donations, as well as its new electric SUV for some time now. While it may certainly depend on where you live and what channels you watch, we've seen a flood of Subaru ads of late.
Rounding out the top 20 list is Cadillac at 17 and Mini (owned by BMW) at 19.