An overseas study trip has mycar management’s eyes firmly focused on an EV future

mycar Managing Director, Adam Pay

Emerging from the fog which we navigated through over the last two years with no real compass or GPS, mycar Managing Director, Adam Pay, says it is refreshing to be now looking beyond the day-to-day and into the future.
Together with his senior leadership team, Adam, like most business leaders, spent most of the last couple of years looking internally at how they could keep their team safe and healthy, how they could be there when the company’s customers needed them the most, and how they could keep the business intact.

The triple ‘I’ approach
Following a research trip to Europe late last year, Adam outlined what he calls the triple ‘I’ approach, which he is confident will take the organisation to the next level.
“At mycar, we are focused on being people first. And we realised that for mycar to be truly people first, it was essential for us to lift our heads up beyond the day-to-day of pandemic navigation and look beyond Australia’s borders for the mycar Triple I – information, inspiration and insights – for our business to continue to grow, thrive, and be future fit,” Adam said.
“mycar’s vision is to be the team of auto experts famous for customer care.
“To do that, we need to be obsessed with ‘world class’. When you think about world class organisations, they are the organisations who are innovating, who are doing things differently, and who are working extremely hard to disrupt themselves.
“For mycar to disrupt itself, we needed to look beyond Australia and even beyond automotive. That is why for a brief period in 2022, we packed up and spent a week on a whirlwind trip of Europe.”
Adam is quick to point out that those picturing fancy restaurants, hotels, limousines and caviar, couldn’t be further from the truth and says they need to bring their thoughts down to three-star, taxi rides and eating on the run!
“We had three goals while we were away. We wanted to gather as much information as possible; we wanted inspiration into what is possible; and we wanted to gain a greater insight into our current business, strategy and plans.
“So, we went on a week-long hunt around the globe, to look at adjacencies and to explore what is being done overseas, what has worked, and just as importantly, what hasn’t. This is so we could look, listen, learn, and not repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before.”

Evolution, not revolution
Following this trip, Adam then spent some time speaking with Australian industry players, colleagues and contacts to really distil what they had learnt and what it means for mycar, its customers, the industry and the country.
“It is probably no surprise that the greatest learnings from Europe were in electric vehicles (EV) and the supporting infrastructure space,” Adam said.
“Oslo in Norway was definitely an eye-opener. However, it wasn’t as sophisticated as I had imagined – from a charging infrastructure perspective, and other elements too.
“Interestingly the Norwegians have moved beyond range anxiety and are now dealing with charge anxiety – that is, finding accessible, operational, affordable charging when and where they need it; with little to no wait time.”
Adam indicated that one of the crucial take-outs from this discovery period was that no matter how early you think you are moving into next generation automotive, it is never early enough.
“The key for Australia is to pace ourselves. From what I can see, EV uptake in Australia is an evolution, not a revolution,” Adam said.
“With that said, I believe the projection data on EV adoption to be conservative, even misleading.
“In my opinion, it will be a much faster uptake; however, with the landscape changing so rapidly, if I was asked to commit to a number, I know I would get it wrong. What I do know is that it is not if, it is when, and how soon.
“What I also know is that there is going to be petrol and diesel cars on Australian roads for many years to come, which is why it was so great to peek into a world which is a few years ahead of us, and think about how we can take advantage of the runway for change and the growth that presents.”

A cool head, steady hand
As an automotive service and repairs business, Adam says mycar has a vested interest in understanding what the future of the industry may look like.
“Contrary to popular belief, EVs still have many of the basic servicing needs that petrol and diesel-powered vehicles do – tyres, brakes, suspension, wipers, fluids etc,” Adam said.
“The bottom line is, it is a vehicle with a different kind of drive/method of propulsion. And everyone in the industry knows, we have adapted before, and we will do it again – as long as we see it as an opportunity, keep an open mind, learn, and be willing to adapt.
“However, it is also fair to say that we are likely to see fewer general repairs over the coming years.
“From what we saw in Oslo, over time, there will be 30-40 percent less general repairs, and in time workshops will need to be servicing two EVs for every one petrol or diesel vehicle, to remain stable state.
“This means that workshop efficiency will become way more important. In addition, EV vehicles and their drivers are likely to need different products and services which the industry will need to adapt to, particularly as we don’t know how EVs will cope with Australian conditions long term.
“As I mentioned before, there will still be petrol and diesel vehicles on our roads for many years to come and workshops across Australia will play a key role keeping petrol and diesel cars up to scratch, to ensure they are running as smoothly as possible during the transition.
“This will be critical from an environmental perspective as we try and limit emissions from older petrol and diesel vehicles.”

Adam explains that a key insight for the team was that businesses such as mycar – which can service all types of cars, be they petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric – will still be an essential service for the foreseeable future.
However, he says, what is important to an EV owner can be somewhat different to that of a petrol or diesel car owner, so it is crucial to be obsessed with what the customer wants and needs, regardless of shifting technology.

A sophisticated transition
While Adam says he and his management team didn’t come back with all of the answers, he believes lots of dots were joined, and knowledge gaps closed.
“For me, it is about the need for a sophisticated transition,” Adam said.
“That is, not too fast, but not too slow; not too over-invested, but also not too under-invested.
“It is about finding our Goldilocks pace and investment – the ‘just right’ for the Australian market.
“So as a leadership team, we definitely have lots to think about and mull on.
“However, I’ve also gone one step further with the purchase of my own EV. What better way to understand the needs of an EV driver, than to become one?
“I still have so much to learn as an EV driver, but I’m definitely having fun doing it!
“I can’t say with certainty what is ahead for EVs in Australia, but I know it is exciting. And I also know that if we work together – industry, government and customers – and learn from those who have gone before us, we’ll get it ‘just right’ for Australia!”

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