Suppose you go to ev-database.org, the largest source of information on electric vehicles. In that case, you will notice that in Germany, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands, most models of any manufacturer are in the production phase. In contrast, some models are not available in any of the listed countries. Currently, there is a possibility of pre-ordering for a very few models. This situation is not limited to the electric car market. We asked Sanja Stojković, Head of Business of British Motors in Serbia, how the situation is with conventional vehicles.
EP: Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, there is significant uncertainty in the automotive industry. Production processes are interrupted, raw material prices are rising, factories are closing, and there is also chip shortage. When do you expect normalization, i.e. complete recovery of the market?
Sanja Stojković: The changes that have befallen us have created uncertainty in all industries, but it is certain that perhaps the car industry has been hit hardest. We expect that in the second half of 2022 and during 2023, the situation in the car industry will improve. However, due to the current increased demand, and after solving the challenges in the supply chain and the accelerated development of electric vehicle production strategy, we can expect a return to the pre-pandemic level from 2024.
EP What is the manufacturer’s strategy?
Sanja Stojković: Jaguar Land Rover was among the first in the premium segment to recognize the potential and new trends in the automotive industry. In 2019, the Jaguar I-Pace model won three prestigious awards. So, it carries the titles of World Car of the Year, World Car Design and World Green Car.
Then, in 2020, Jaguar Land Rover introduced Reimagine’s new business strategy aimed at zero carbon emissions in the product and process supply chain. Jaguar Land Rover plans to achieve the set goals and provide a unique user experience through luxury and exceptional design with a positive social impact.
EP: How does this situation affect the business of British Motors?
Sanja Stojković: British Motors is currently facing challenges common to the entire auto industry. We do our best to meet the expectations of our clients. The beginning of 2020 was a surprise, but we have learned to adapt quickly and develop the necessary skills that can mitigate the negative consequences of the constant changes we face with the right approach to work and listening to the clients’ needs.
EP What do current subsidies for buying electric and hybrid vehicles mean for importers? How much do they affect sales?
Sanja Stojković: The fact that the state recognized the necessity of improving environmental protection is extremely important. State support is the basis for enhancing this segment. Subsidies can certainly significantly contribute to better sales of electric vehicles. In addition to subsidies, the use of electric cars is greatly conditioned by the development of the network of electric chargers.
Many European countries are ready to offer whole packages of benefits to drivers of electric vehicles, which indicates the commitment of countries to this task. The automotive industry must develop new technologies to overcome challenges such as charging time and the cost of electric vehicles.
EP: What are the challenges of legislation in the field of environmental protection?
Sanja Stojković: Energy transition and emphasis on environmental protection have conditioned the adoption of many regulations that have influenced the change of strategy in the automotive industry. The European Union has a current “Fit for 55” plan, which aims to reduce net gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
In previous years, the car industry has faced demands to reduce emissions. These changes significantly affect the business and the portfolio of services we can offer to our clients. That will be a major challenge for all of us.
EP: Are you planning to make additional investments in installing EV chargers at your locations? What is the attitude of British Motors towards investing in “green energy”, and what else reflects the social responsibility of your company?
Sanja Stojković: British Motors has already made investments in installing chargers for electrified vehicles at their locations. In addition, we are working on developing a project to install solar panels at our locations to use green energy for the vehicles of our fleet and for the needs of our processes.
In addition to significant savings and social responsibility, we believe that the strength of our company is reflected in recognition of the vision for investing in the development of infrastructure for charging EVs.
EP: What are the main expectations at British Motors in 2022?
Sanja Stojković: Plans for 2022 follow the dynamics of the expected recovery of the automotive industry. Although the end of the pandemic is still unknown, we can confirm with certainty that electric vehicles are the future of the car industry.
Interviewed by: Milica Marković
Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ELECTROMOBILITY.