While everyone is aware of the major players in the automotive industry – from Mazda to McLaren – now, more than ever, a host of new car companies are coming into the fold.
With EVs and easier parts-sharing simplifying production for new brands, the roads are about to get more interesting as you see them flooded with unrecognizable badges.
To help keep you ahead of the curve, here are six manufacturers that fit this category that we expect you’ll soon be seeing a lot more of on the roads…
Chinese electric vehicle company NIO burst onto the scene in 2016 with its EP9 hypercar, pictured at the top of the article, which broke the EV lap record at the famed Nürburgring in Germany.
Now, having produced more than 100,000 vehicles for the Chinese market, it has its eyes set on expansion into Europe with its range of SUVs and sleek sedans, such as the ET7 shown above.
Beyond its current electric lineup, NIO has its eyes set on autonomous driving capability for its vehicles.
Additionally, the company races in the Formula E championship – a prime advertisement for the performance of its vehicles.
Founded in California in 2009, Rivian has been a hot topic over the past couple of years after it debuted its much-anticipated R1T electric pickup truck and R1S three-row SUV.
After going public in November 2021, shares in the company have recently fallen after an initial valuation of $86 billion, with global parts shortages preventing Rivian’s launch lineup currently from finally going on sale.
However, a strategic partnership with Amazon will see even more Rivian vehicles on US roads once the supply chain improves – the company will build bespoke electric delivery vans for Amazon.
Another Chinese electric vehicle brand, Xpeng – like NIO – offers a range of SUVs and a sleek Tesla-rivalling sedan dubbed the P7.
Where Xpeng really leads the charge, though, is when it comes to autonomy.
A modified version of the P7 set the record for the longest autonomous drive, with less than one human intervention per 100km.
Having already expanded into smaller European markets, starting with Norway, it’s clear the brand has its eyes set on the global stage.
Ineos isn’t a new company, but it is new to the car industry.
A British multinational chemical producer, company founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe established Ineos Automotive to build what he saw as a more fitting successor to the original Land Rover Defender than Land Rover’s own attempt.
With incredibly boxy and rugged styling, the Ineos Grenadier ticks all the right off-roader boxes thanks to beam axles front and rear, along with mounting points for accessories all over it.
Although Ineos’ chemicals division is a sponsor of Mercedes’ F1 team, the Grenadier will be powered by BMW straight-six turbo engines, both petrol and diesel.
Set to be built in France, the Grenadier will be offered in more than 50 countries, with the first retailers opening in June 2022 in the UK.
Unlike the other names on this list, Cupra is a marque that comes courtesy of an established car company.
The new standalone performance arm of Spanish manufacturer SEAT, owned by Volkswagen, the brand’s initial lineup included unique versions of existing models, the Ateca and Leon, along with an all-new SUV, the Formentor.
While these models use common Volkswagen running gear, the brand is expanding into the EV space as well with the Born hatchback, along with an SUV that’s yet to be revealed.
With Cupra expanding into markets SEAT doesn’t currently operate in, such as Australia, it’s clear this new performance-oriented brand will only expand VW’s global range of brands to yet another potential customer base.
The first Vietnamese car manufacturer to expand outside the country, VinFast is a company that’s very quickly attracted a lot of attention.
With its initial Vietnam-only lineup consisting of vehicles based on BMW platforms with petrol engines, VinFast’s global push sees the brand shift toward… you guessed it, EVs.
Supercar Blondie has already had a chance to check out the VF8 SUV, one of its initial global offerings, and the tech on offer is certainly impressive.