Analysis – Why car brands are trimming the variety and number of options

We’ve all seen it, you head onto your chosen brand’s configurator to weigh up whether you need the £750 extended leather option or the optional tow bar which you may never use, often making the spec’ing process a little tedious and confusing. Well, that’s all changed, and it’s down to a number of factors.

We wanted to delve a little deeper into why so many car brands are stripping back their options lists, and how in turn it’s actually helping consumers when deciding what to go for.



So, why has there been a reduction?


The biggest one is quite simply that there’s no need for so many variants, as the changes to some were so minimal anyway. For context, in 2019 Vauxhall boasted 362 combinations of trim, engine and gearbox. Today, it’s just 66. It allows potential customers to not get bogged down by the dozens of pricey extras, and focus on what they want most out of that vehicle.

It’s also due to supply issues. Between Covid and the ongoing war in Ukraine, many manufacturers are having a torrid time sourcing certain semiconductor chips for their optional extras. So much so that BMW are now allowing customers to order new models without Apple CarPlay and the App suite, and in some cases without the screen elements entirely in order to get the car through production quicker, where customers can return at a later date to have the missing options fitted.


One car, three colours.


Many brands are taking the ‘Tesla’ approach too – where they simply showcase one variant that’s already highly spec’d, allowing you to simply choose out of the four or five colour shades and three wheel variants – that’s it. If the car is already filled to the brim with the nice bits, why waste time with checking and unchecking those option boxes?

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this one, if you’re a consumer, do you prefer the dialed down approach to car configuration, or are the details the best part?



Elliot NewtonAnalysis – Why car brands are trimming the variety and number of options