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Autocar’s Drivers of Change initiative seeks to promote talent interested in entering three exciting areas of the automotive industry: technology, 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 receive £5000 as well as 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 from 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.

More details on the three categories are below. For full terms and conditions please see the entry page. Entries close 24 September 2021.

The Technology award

Designing technological solutions is a key area for the automotive world. Connected cars, autonomous cars and more efficient cars - including but not limited to hybrid and electric cars - are the future. Design solutions for these are at the cutting edge of industry developments.

Have you designed a new technological solution to an everyday problem? Or does your technical design answer an issue that’s yet to come? This award is looking for those ideas.

Enter if you are at the forefront of an exciting, new technological world, whether through the design and vehicle development process or with a larger, industry-changing, technology-led idea.

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. 

Other sponsors

APC - The Advanced Propulsion Centre

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) accelerates the industrialisation of technologies which will help to realise net-zero emission vehicles. It is at the heart of the UK government’s commitment to end the country’s contribution to global warming by 2050. Since its foundation in 2013, APC has funded 113 low-carbon projects, involving more than 290 partners. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 225 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 8.8 million cars.

APC projects have helped generate economic benefits too. Companies involved have seen turnover increases of 14–17%, with new jobs increasing by 8–10%. Together these have generated a 17% Gross Value Added uplift. With its deep sector expertise and cutting-edge knowledge of new propulsion technologies, APC’s role in building and advising project consortia helps projects start more quickly and deliver more value. In the longer term, its work to drive innovation and encourage collaboration is building the foundations for a successful UK industry.

In 2019 the UK Government created the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to accelerate the development of a net-zero vehicle supply chain, enabling UK-based manufacturers to serve global markets. ATF investments are awarded through APC to support strategically important capital and R&D investments in the UK that will help companies involved in batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cells and recycling to anchor their future in the UK.

For more information go to or follow us @theapcuk on Twitter and Advanced Propulsion Centre UK on LinkedIn.


CitNOW supplies video and digital communication tools exclusively to the automotive industry.  We have over 10,000 subscribers (including 92 of the UK’s 100 largest car dealer groups) across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the UK servicing over 40 vehicle manufacturers.

Founded in 2008, our app-based video and image software has helped automotive retailers build stronger, more transparent and productive customer relationships and bridge the customers online to offline experience.

Our suite of digital communication tools improve processes in both sales and aftersales, helping to increase customer trust and loyalty, stock turnover and revenue. With apps for asset capture and distribution -  showrooms, workshops and bodyshops can generate immediate customer engagement and an even better car buying and owning experience. We have a team of over 100 people supporting customers in 64 countries to create an average of 35,000 videos per day. 

Cox Automotive

Cox Automotive is the world's largest automotive service organisation. We provide dependable solutions that improve performance and profitability throughout the vehicle lifecycle to manufacturers, fleets and dealers. Our businesses are organised around our customers’ core needs across vehicle solutions, remarketing, funding, and retail. Cox Automotive brands in the UK include Manheim, Dealer Auction, NextGear Capital, Modix, Movex, and The group employs more than 2,500 team members in the UK and works with thousands of businesses throughout the automotive industry. Click here for more information.

IMS (Insurance and Mobility Solutions)

Established in 2009, IMS (Insurance and Mobility Solutions) is a world-leading telematics technology company focused on delivering connected solutions to the insurance, mobility and automotive industries.

We are an international business with employees distributed across the UK, mainland Europe and North America, serving a truly blue-chip client base. Our team of industry experts, data scientists and software engineers have created a portfolio of 148 patents across telematics, IoT & connected car, underlining our relentless pursuit of innovation.

In early 2021 the company launched the IMS Vehicle Data Exchange, which enables customers‌ to ‌access‌ ‌accurate,‌ ‌secure,‌ ‌real-time‌ ‌vehicle‌ ‌data,‌ ‌from‌ ‌either‌ ‌single‌ ‌or‌ multiple data sources, including embedded telemetry data ingested directly from many of the world’s leading automotive OEMs. This data is then normalised, enriched and transformed into actionable insights that our customers can leverage instantly and easily to improve both their business outcomes and end-user experiences.

Jardine Motors Group

Jardine Motors Group represents some of the world’s most well-known, prestigious brands, providing an exceptional service that brings together its physical dealership network and online, digital and virtual services to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers. Its mission “to be the best motor retailer as judged by you” applies to all of its internal and external stakeholder groups, particularly, and importantly, to the 2,700+ colleagues across its 54 sites in the UK.

It is our colleagues that make us who we are and our people-first approach aims to ensure that we are creating an inclusive culture where our colleagues are respected as individuals, recognised and celebrated for being their authentic-selves and supported in their development so they can perform to the best of their ability. Through various partnerships, including with the Automotive 30% Club, Retail Week Be Inspired, the Valuable 500, Social Mobility Pledge and Stonewall, we strive to challenge the perceptions of the automotive industry and are focussed on developing a fully diverse and inclusive culture where all colleagues are given the opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally. 

We are driven to deliver extraordinary experiences for all of our customers and our colleagues continually inspire us to challenge our ways of working to improve and progress

JATO Dynamics

JATO Dynamics, founded in 1984, now has representation in over 51 countries around the world. We provide precision under pressure, providing the world’s most timely, accurate and up-to-date automotive information on vehicle specifications, pricing, sales and registrations for over 30 years. We offer more than just data, as we’ve watched the world change, and consumer mindsets alter with it we have been able to offer insights that help inform the industry. We’re able to react to short-term market movements, plan for long-term developments and ultimately to meet the needs of our clients. Visit JATO at for more information or contact us at

Marshall Motor Holdings

Marshall Motor Holdings is the 7th largest motor dealer group in the UK with 117 franchised dealerships representing 23 brand partners across 28 counties. Marshall Motor’s people centric approach has been their focus since their launch in 1909.

McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and 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 has defined product families: Super Series, Ultimate Series and Motorsport which are retailed through over 85 retailers in more than 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™.

2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider as well as the new GT, the track-only Senna GTR and unveiled the 620R and the McLaren Elva. In 2020, McLaren launched the 765LT. In addition, it unveiled the all-new lightweight architecture innovated and manufactured at the £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre opened in the Sheffield region in the North of England that will underpin the next decade of McLaren’s electrified future.

Pivotal by Jaguar and Land Rover

Pivotal subscription by Jaguar and Land Rover is an alternative to traditional vehicle ownership and leasing plans. 

With one all-inclusive monthly fee, everything is taken care of. Subscribers can access a growing portfolio of electrified products across the Jaguar and Land Rover model range, embracing fully electric and plug-in hybrid, as well the latest diesel and petrol engines.

If business or lifestyle priorities change, Pivotal gives the freedom to pause and return the vehicle after 3 months with no extra charge.

The Pivotal team will deliver an updated vehicle directly to the subscribers' home every six months, meaning they are always driving the latest technology and never need to worry about vehicle depreciation.


Polestar is the electric performance car brand jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding. Enjoying specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars, Polestar benefits from significant economies of scale as a result, facilitating the successful design, development and production of separately-branded, electric performance cars.

Polestar launched in 2017 with the Polestar 1 – a low-volume Electric Performance Hybrid GT with 600hp, 1000 Nm and an electric-only range of 93 miles – the longest of any hybrid car in the world. In 2019 the Polestar 2 was revealed as the company’s first fully electric, higher volume premium car. By opening Polestar Spaces in central locations, Polestar will change the face of traditional automotive retail with non-commissioned product specialists, no on-site stock and an experiential retail space alongside a hassle-free ownership model. In the future, Polestar 1 and 2 will be joined by the Polestar 3, a fully electric performance SUV.

Sytner Group

Sytner Group is the UK’s largest and most successful automotive group, representing 21 of the world’s most prestigious automotive brands, employing nearly 9,000 colleagues nationwide. “Developing Talent and Building Careers” is at the heart of the company’s drive to recruit and retain the best colleagues; leading through innovation and inspiring change within the automotive sector. Sytner’s Notable accolades include being ranked #1 in the Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For, being named ‘best retailer’ in the Glassdoor 2019 Best Places to Work, alongside recently winning the Motor Trader Skills and Development Award for the second consecutive year.

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.


Volvo Cars began production of their automobiles in Sweden in 1927. Today they are a global brand with sales in around 100 countries. Volvo’s focus is on innovation and world-leading safety technology, which has led them to become one of the most respected and recognisable car brands in the world. Volvo’s award-winning cars continue to set new benchmarks in automotive safety and connectivity, and the company is committed to its aim of an all-electric future.

Volvo Cars is committed to equal opportunities within its organisation and recognises the importance of having a diverse and inclusive culture within all parts of its business. Giving every person the opportunity to be the best version of themselves is at the heart of Volvo’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy, and it is involved in a number of different pieces of work focused on parenthood, recruitment and promotion, female leadership and cognitive diversity amongst other things.

2020 Winners



Smart measurement points.

Read more here.



Automated offensive and defensive security (automods) platform for cars and self-driving cars.

Read more here.



Carbusi car model recognition and car buying app.

Read more here.