Winners 2023

Mobility and digital 2023

GRISHINA CUT HER teeth in automotive retail at Fiat Chrysler based in Turin, Italy, before spending eight years at JLR. Her work at Hyundai expands on the experience she gained at JLR to overhaul the digital element of the Korean brand’s UK network and update the IT infrastructure needed to do so. Grishina is also head of Hyundai’s Mocean subscription scheme and, after joining the company in February last year, she delivered phase one of the programme in 10 months, for which she was recognised as Employee of the Quarter 2022 in November. Under her lead, monthly subscriptions increased by 500% in the first six months and they had grown 875% by the end of 2022. Grishina is also currently finishing an MBA at Warwick Business School.

Mobility and digital 2023 nominees

Tamanna Haque, Lead data scientist, JLR

HAQUE WAS PROMOTED last year to her current position, in which she leads projects that use connected-car data in order to generate revenue, or help to create better cars, or a combination of both. She joined JLR in 2019 to set up a new data science team in Manchester with a colleague and that team has now grown to nearly 40 people serving JLR around the world. She’s also analytics lead for JLR’s Women in Engineering committee.

Sarah Lidster, Head of digital and sales systems, BMW Financial Services

LIDSTER MOVED UP to her current senior role in January, gaining additional responsibility for the digital strategies of both BMW finance brand Alphera and the Alphabet leasing company on top of her work transforming BMW Financial Services “to deliver a benchmark online finance application journey” for new and used car customers, according to her nomination. “Sarah’s five-year strategy has ensured BMW Group has not been left behind by industry disruption,” her nomination read.

Juljana Peter, Senior engineer, digital hypercomp, Nissan

PETER BEGAN HER automotive career as an intern at Porsche within its V8 turbo production facility, but at Nissan Sunderland her work is to use digital data to make manufacturing there more efficient. Since joining in 2022 from consultancy Accenture, she and her team have helped to cut electricity use by 14% through the creation of a series of dashboards to understand energy use and report performance. Her five-year vision for energy efficiency digitisation has been adopted by the site services team as the new digital strategy blueprint for energy use in Sunderland.

Sylwia Nowak, Senior customs and foreign trade compliance officer, Brose

WORK FOR BRITISH companies in complying with foreign trade and customer regulations has grown exponentially since Brexit and that is Nowak’s speciality within this automotive mechatronics supplier. As she writes in her nomination: “Automotive is a significant contributor to the UK economy and pushing for digitalisation and customs facilitations, especially after Brexit, is one of my missions.” Nowak regularly appears on panel discussions, is an “active member” of the Institute of Export and International Trade Membership Committee and sits on industry body Make UK’s Trade Policy Working Group.

Bethany Martin, Digital sales controller, Pendragon

MARTIN’S JOB DIGITALISING parts of the car sales process and improving the buying experience didn’t exist before she was appointed in 2020. The role was created for her after her talent was judged by national franchise director Neil Ferguson to be worth keeping after her previous admin role was to be axed amid Covid redundancies. Her innovative work has resulted in better relationships with car-buying platforms and brands – for example, converting Renault UK sales leads from 3% to 10%.

Heather Russell, Senior solution architect, Ford Motor Company

RUSSELL JOINED FORD in 2017 as a degree apprentice in the role of junior software engineer and was promoted within three months of finishing her degree in 2021 after she impressed with projects such as bringing on board a new software supplier. Russell now designs car-buying platforms that will enable Ford to transition from a wholesale model to selling directly to customers, starting this year in the Netherlands. She also has to ensure that the software works for customers in markets that retain traditional sales channels.

Eneli Otsa, Biddable media specialist, Pendragon

BIDDABLE MEDIA IS advertising on social media and search engines bought via real-time bidding and Otsa’s knowledge of that is “second to none”, said Claire Bell, head of diversity and inclusion at dealer group Pendragon, in nominating her. Otsa joined the company in 2018 and moved to her current role in 2019. Standout figures from Otsa’s work include a Ford campaign that increased paid social media by 79%, generating 85% more link clicks and increasing ‘high-quality’ sales conversions by 41%. “Her reputation is growing to the point that retailers and fellow marketing leaders across the group are starting to reach out to Eneli for support,” said Bell.

Jennifer Martin, Senior product manager, Ford Pro technology, Ford Motor Company

MARTIN WAS ELEVATED to her new role in January this year, her third promotion after joining the company in 2017 as a degree apprentice. Her job now is to manage the development of digital products to grow the mobile service facility being rolled out by Ford’s Pro commercial vehicle division. She works “by challenging bureaucracy”, according to her nomination, and encouraging more diverse thought within her teams, including mentoring female colleagues to join the process.

Dora Boganyi, General manager, customer experience, innovation and transformation, Toyota GB

BOGANYI IS RESPONSIBLE for helping customers to connect better with Toyota digitally by developing online sales channels and the Toyota customer app. She joined Toyota in 2021, after spells at Ineos Automotive and Rolls-Royce within network development, and was quickly promoted to this senior role after winning the trust of senior staff. “Dora is highly regarded across the company. She has already contributed to a number of pan-European developments,” said Paula Cooper, director of Toyota GB’s ConsumerOne unit, in nominating her.

Reem Bashir, Automotive cybersecurity project engineer, Horiba MIRA

BASHIR IS PART of the global automotive testing company’s vehicle resilience team, responsible for testing software for security flaws. She is working to complete her PhD at De Montfort University on her way to moving into more senior roles. She has had two cybersecurity papers, in digital forensics and privacy of cloud computing, published in journals endorsed by the European Alliance for Innovation. She also holds an MSc in cybersecurity.