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Autocar’s Drivers of Change initiative seeks to promote talent interested in entering three exciting areas of the automotive industry: diversity & inclusion (D&I), digital and retail. It is being delivered in partnership with executive search specialists Ennis & Co, with the goal of energising the industry through innovative thinking. 

Each category winner will have the opportunity to attend the Society for Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) dinner, the biggest automotive industry event of the year.

The initiative is open to anyone who has a visionary idea in any of the three categories. Prior experience isn’t required - the range of entrants spans those starting out in their career to those with more experience, be that within the automotive world or outside of it. The key is to have an idea that could challenge the status quo.

As long as you’re over 18, age or experience is irrelevant: above all, we are looking for visionaries with brilliant ideas that can benefit this fast-paced industry, however big or small.If you would like to be considered, please contact 

The Diversity & Inclusion award

There is broad agreement that diversity and inclusion are vital pillars of a successful industry. Workplaces benefit from valuing all employees’ contributions, helping to nurture the best talent and increasing employee engagement.

Enter this category if you have moved the game on with a new inclusive system or policy and can demonstrate the impact of it, be that within a small business or multi-national entity.

The Digital award

Digital disruption is rife, improving our everyday lives, and at its best when it is making complex, time-consuming or expensive tasks simpler.

Can you envisage ways in which digital advances could be harnessed to the benefit of the car industry, from changes to how cars are created to how they are assembled, distributed, sold and owned?

Enter this award if your innovation advances the digital space in the automotive world - to the benefit of customers, retailers, manufacturers, start-ups or any other relevant party.

The Retail award

Everyday shopping experiences are changing at a dramatic pace, resetting customer expectations and redrawing the boundaries of great business practice.

Do you find yourself getting frustrated as you shop online, or see ways to improve the experience as you stand in line?

Enter if you have a bright idea to improve customer service or improve business practices in the retail space.

Our Partner
In partnership with Ennis & Co

Ennis & Co are trusted by many of the world’s leading automotive brands to appoint their senior leaders. 

We carry out executive search assignments for organisations across the entire automotive spectrum, ranging from manufacturers to national sales companies (high-volume through to prestige and luxury brands), as well as supply chain, retail, leasing/mobility providers, data analytics organisations and innovative technology companies.

We work with clients in the UK and globally. Over the past two years, 78% of our assignments have been for roles based outside the UK. 

Typically, we recruit Board Directors, CEOs and their direct reports, including business and functional heads.

Our clients are our biggest advocates. More than 85% of them are repeat customers.

Our team has decades of experience not only in recruitment and executive search but at senior levels of the automotive industry, giving us a profound and holistic understanding of the needs of our clients and the industry as a whole.

Our Sponsors
In association with The SMMT

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is the voice of the UK motor industry, supporting and promoting its position to government, stakeholders and the media at home and abroad. UK Automotive is a global centre of excellence for innovation and engineering, and the shift to electrification, digitalisation, connectivity and autonomy means there has never been a more exciting time to begin a career in the industry. We need talent from across all backgrounds and disciplines to fill the widening range of roles, and we hope this new initiative will help inspire more of the best and brightest innovators to join us, helping to shape the future mobility of the UK. 

McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance supercars. Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group. The company’s product portfolio of GT, supercar, Motorsport and Ultimate models are retailed through over 100 retailers in over 40 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1.

Then in 1993 it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™. In 2016, it announced a new hybrid hyper-GT and confirmed in 2018 that the next Ultimate car would be the Speedtail.

2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider, the new GT and the track-only McLaren Senna GTR. It also unveiled the 620R and McLaren Elva before launching the 765LT the following year.

Most recently, the company unveiled its all-new high-performance hybrid supercar, the McLaren Artura. The Artura is the first McLaren to benefit from the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA). The MCLA is designed, developed and manufactured at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region of England using world-first processes and will spearhead the brand’s electrified future.


Ford Retail Group, which operates as TrustFord, is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company but has its own board of directors and operating strategies.  It is the world’s largest Ford dealer group, with over 60 sites across the UK, including Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. As well as managing its Ford franchise operation for new and used cars and commercial vehicles, the business runs as a multi franchise for used cars, used commercial vehicles, aftersales and parts.  Employing around 3,000 colleagues, the company is committed to consistently providing equality, diversity and inclusion to their job applicants, colleagues and customers.  

Toyota (GB) PLC

Toyota (GB) PLC is the national marketing and sales company with responsibility for Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the UK market.  Based in Surrey, principal operations cover sales, marketing, after sales and the UK network of 181 Toyota and 40 Lexus retailer franchises.

Toyota (GB) PLC began importing vehicles into the UK market in 1965 and is now wholly owned by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. Since 2015, Toyota (GB) PLC has been listed in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list, achieving its highest ranking of 15th place in 2020 among midsize UK businesses.

Toyota is the undisputed global leader in self-charging hybrid technology with sales of more than 15 million vehicles across the world since the launch of the Toyota Prius in Japan in 1997.

Volkswagen Group UK

Volkswagen Group UK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Europe’s largest carmaker that is leading the global charge towards electrified and connected mobility. From its UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, it manages the sourcing, marketing and distribution of all vehicles and parts in the UK for Volkswagen Group vehicles, including Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA and ŠKODA.

Volkswagen Group UK’s share of the passenger car market grew from 20.9% to 22.1% in 2020 marking the Group as the clear industry leader. With exciting, massive investments into further battery electric, and hybrid vehicles, and the recently announced 6 European battery giga factories, as well as the alliances for fast charging networks, the Group’s commitment to zero carbon mobility is already moving to become a reality.

The Group directly employs around 1,000 people in the UK, with many more working within its network of more than 600 retailers. The variety of roles within the Group range from the traditional sales, marketing, PR and technical to human resources, legal and finance roles to an increasing focus on digital marketing and IT.

Volkswagen Group UK is committed to building and maintaining a diverse workforce in which every individual’s background, skills and knowledge are valued and used, and where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.


From the design phase through to the end-of-life of the vehicles, PEUGEOT strives to limit their impact on the environment. In addition to respecting environmental standards, PEUGEOT aims to lead the way in sustainable mobility and therefore devotes substantial means towards reducing the ecological footprint of its vehicles.

2022 Winners


Darren Coan who introduced PurpleLightUp day at Ford

Read more here.


The team at Immense Solutions

Read more here.


Jack Allman who, along with business partner James Jackson, launched Bumper

Read more here.