As the penultimate component to the Sir William Lyons competition, the finalists were asked to do a 300 word analysis and summary of their articles including an explanation of why they said what they did.
Better late than never, here's what Ethan had to say...
"My answer to the question ‘What defines a premium car in 2014?’ was from a deliberately general standpoint. My claim followed what anyone, be them knowledgeable or not about cars, might use to define a premium vehicle. That is badge and brand reverence. After all not all car buyers are enthusiasts who actively see much more beyond a cars identity and its practical credentials. Stating that the question is debatable, especially in this day and age, I went on to question factors and reasons that could render brand/identity less relevant. So I explored:
- Typical ‘premium’ brands diversification of offering outside of ‘premium’ segments (Citing BMWs FWD 2 Series active tourer as an example).
- Typically ‘non premium’ brands foraying into premium segments with commendable products (citing Hyundais US spec Genesis saloon as an example).
- How many ‘premium’ brands within large automotive families share components with ‘non premium’ brands under the same ownership (contrasting Audi and Skoda under Volkswagen ownership as an example).
I concluded -mindful of how changeable the industry is- that subjective ‘badge appeal’ seems to transcend the stated influential factors. The only thing that doesn’t regularly change are the brands and what they represent, for example, comparing the £40k Golf R with the £30k Audi S3 in terms of a ‘non car person’ perspective: the common (Golf) and the premium (Audi) in spite of price.
I feel I could have questioned why some brands are ‘typically’ revered as some are. This became obvious to me at the Jaguar Heritage drive as the brands history and the old products were celebrated as the substance behind the Jaguar brand and the respect that it commands. But innate deference to some brands is ironically a part to the argument- how premium is ingrained in us as a brand dependent label."
What do you think is more expensive?
Please leave a comment below telling us what your first thoughts were on the Audi and the Golf.