EV Leaders: Philip Nothard, Insight Director at Cox Automotive

With more than 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry, Philip’s wide-ranging working life has included time as an expert advisor to several blue-chip companies. His decade-long tenure at cap hpi marked the inception of his specialisation in data analysis, a passion to which he has unwaveringly devoted himself, untangling the intricacies of the sector.

As Insight Director at Cox Automotive Europe, an industry leader with a legacy spanning more than a century, Philip spearheads strategic insights. With a global presence (at 220 locations throughout the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and Brazil), Cox Automotive serves more than 40,000 clients in numerous sectors including de-fleet, re-marketing and retail. That undoubted reach underscores the company’s influence and ensures customers benefit from a wealth of valuable data directed by Philip.

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What got you interested in EVs?

How can you not be interested in EVs?! They are an integral part of the global automotive future. They’re key to decarbonisation and generally meeting those all-important net-zero targets. The rise of EVs is momentous, and the change we’re seeing in the sector is the biggest I have witnessed in more than 35 years of working in this industry. Monitoring market trends, understanding what lies ahead and interpreting data as part of my role means I have a keen interest in all things EV. This is an exciting time for the industry.

Which EV do you drive, and why?

Unfortunately, my location and its lack of charging infrastructure mean EV adoption is currently impractical. But I look forward to the day when the latter improves to such an extent that it becomes an easy choice. Like most people, I’m extremely keen to do my part for a sustainable future, and I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m behind the wheel of an EV, savouring both its efficiency and technology.

What EV would you like to see made that’s not yet on the market?

The rapid leaps forward in EV technology have been fascinating to see. Personally speaking, I would like to see more progress made in terms of making EVs as easy to charge as it is to fuel ICE vehicles, or even easier. OEMs are doing their utmost to manufacture vehicles with ever-greater ranges and lower charging times, which can only be a good thing. I look forward to the day when the necessity of public charging can be removed altogether. That will surely help make EVs the unarguable choice.

Tell us about your role as Insight Director at Cox Automotive, and how EVs are strategically integrated as part of the broader vision of the company?

My role at Cox Automotive is to monitor, understand and interpret what is happening in the market, see the bigger trends and help my company and our customers react and plan in the best way.

I develop and implement strategic insights and have input regarding our approach to the broader automotive landscape. Regarding EVs, I am positioned to understand the widespread shift to an electrified future with insight, forecasts and industry intelligence to support strategic, EV-related decisions.

As a business, Cox Automotive is heavily invested in ensuring it is perfectly placed to meet the changing needs of our retailer, fleet and OEM customers. From providing the physical infrastructure and technical experience needed for in-fleet, de-fleet and re-marketing activities, to investments in battery lifecycle management services and infrastructure, our global, real-world experience of EVs is arguably unrivalled.

How does Cox Automotive’s strategy adapt to the growing prominence of electrification, and what role does this sector play in shaping the company’s long-term vision?

Cox Automotive’s vision is to transform the way the world buys, sells, owns, and uses vehicles. We have an unrivalled understanding of the industry and use our accumulated knowledge and real-time market intelligence to help our partners strategise more effectively. That means adapting and reacting to dynamics that are prone to change. The prominence of electrification is one such dynamic that has implications for almost every sector of the industry in which Cox Automotive brands operate.

As the automotive industry transitions towards e-mobility, how does Cox Automotive anticipate and respond to changing market dynamics, particularly in the context of EV adoption rates?

We are strategically poised to meet the evolving requirements of different sectors, supporting customers with our undeniable experience and ability to adapt. We continue to invest in our operations to better absorb and mitigate many of the changes we are seeing regarding EV adoption.  

We are committed to remaining agile and responsive, providing comprehensive services and insights during this transformative phase.

What insights and strategies have Cox Automotive developed to support customers in navigating the complexities of the EV sector, from de-fleeting to re-marketing?

Our latest Insight Report explores some of the key trends and influences on the key stages of the vehicle ecosystem. Drawing on data and experience from across the Cox Automotive portfolio, it includes insight from areas such as physical and digital services, wholesale, retail and funding. The warmly received Insight Report is being used to guide strategic decision making within a range of customer sectors.

Can you discuss any specific initiatives or projects Cox Automotive has undertaken to facilitate the seamless integration of electric vehicles into its broader portfolio of solutions, addressing both challenges and opportunities within the EV market?

Perhaps the best illustration of Cox Automotive’s intent in the EV space is our acquisition of Spiers New Technologies. SNT is the leading full-service provider of first-life battery extension and recycling services. With a focus on the entire battery life cycle, SNT is supporting customers to keep batteries in use, sustainably and economically. Our US business has already supported large-scale manufacturer recall and in-life service programmes, while our footprint in the UK and Europe will be fully established during the early stages of 2024.

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