Apple Tops Tesla in Future EV Interest, Despite No Car Yet: Survey

Image: Apple

Apple came out ahead of actual automotive brands like Tesla and BMW in a recent car buyer interest survey despite the tech giant never even confirming it’s working on a vehicle, let alone delivering any, according to a study by Strategic Vision (via Business Insider).

Strategic Vision recently surveyed 200,000 new-vehicle owners to find out which brands they would consider buying a car from. Apple ranked third in the list, with 26% of respondents saying they “love” the Apple brand and would consider buying a car made by the company.

The survey consisted of more than 45 brands, the vast majority being established automakers. Apple was only behind Toyota and Honda, and actually beat Tesla, BMW, Lexus, and all the others.

What’s more, more than half of the respondents who own a Tesla said they would consider switching to an Apple car if the company ever produced one. Tesla, with its focus on technology and its monstrous market valuation, is widely regarded as the Apple of the automobile world — but what happens when Apple enters it?

Apple also had the highest “quality impression” of all the brands included in the survey, at 24%. Tesla had a quality impression score of 11%, while Toyota had 15%. That said, 34% of respondents said they didn’t know enough about a potential Apple car to make a judgment right now.

“Of course, what Apple ultimately presents in terms of styling, powertrain, product, and other key features will finally determine the level of interest generated among car shoppers,” said Alexander Edwards of Strategic Vision.

“However, their brand awareness and reputation provide a formidable platform that automotive manufacturers should brace themselves for accordingly.”

Apple has never actually confirmed any plans to make a car. However, rumours dating back years suggest the company has been working on an electric vehicle (EV) under the codename “Project Titan.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also teased the prospect on many occasions. “An autonomous car is a robot and so there are a lot of things you can do with autonomy. We will see what Apple does,” Cook told the Sway podcast.

“We love to integrate hardware, software, and services, and find the intersection points of those because we think that’s where the magic occurs.”

Cook did, however, caution that many of the company’s ideas “never see the light of day.” Apple’s long-rumoured Project Titan has gone through its fair share of ups and downs, losing many key team members along the way. That said, many industry experts have also joined the team and vacated positions have been quickly filled.

The results of Strategic Vision’s survey demonstrate that Apple already has strong mindshare among automotive buyers without commanding any share of the actual market. As such, Apple will be able to get a running start if and when it decides to bring a car to market.