The Just Auto Excellence Awards research has highlighted themes and areas of focus across the automotive sector, including a clear acceleration in the development of AI and autonomous technology, substantial investment in electric vehicles, batteries, and the emerging EV ecosystem.
In addition, they have highlighted significant steps towards the use of sustainable materials and manufacturing.
The Just Auto Excellence Awards 2024 are now open for submissions. You can download our Research Guide for more details and to take part.
Find out more: Introducing the Just Auto Excellence Awards 2024
Here’s a quick recap on some of last year’s winners:
The company was recognized in the Branding category after it launched a new brand identity, which aims to represents the link between the company’s history and its aim of leading future mobility.
Seventy years after its founding, the company is entering a new stage of its history with the aim of consolidating itself as a global provider of innovative and technological solutions for automobile interiors.
The core of the brand redesign is the ‘A’ in the company’s name, with the letter presented as a triangle split between the new brand colours of green and blue.
The letter design, according to the company, represents the crossroads that both the company and the industry are experiencing, as vehicle design moves rapidly into a more technologically driven and electric future.
The green section of the ‘A’ represents the window through which the company views vehicle interior designs and is also representative of the company’s aims for greener, sustainable innovation.
The design has a fresh, modern feel and the stylized ‘A’ is distinct enough to act as a condensed logo or signifier in itself. The company has also dropped ‘Grupo’ from its name, creating a simpler, punchier brand.
BYD was recognized across three categories last year following the rapid expansion of its business across the globe including the launches of new models and dealerships, as well as significant investment in battery production.
Last year saw BYD ramping up its distribution, launching vehicles in a range of new markets. In the Middle East the company launched in Jordan, its first Middle East market. In Spain the company launched its Atto 3 C-segment SUV, Tang SUV, and Han executive sedan through local partners and plans two showrooms in Barcelona and Madrid.
In Japan the company has launched the Atto 3 and is set to follow this with the Dolphin and Seal.
The company has also made strides with its dealership networks, expanding in the UK and Germany. In the UK, Pendragon PLC was confirmed as the leading launch partner, with two new dealerships in Birmingham and Milton Keynes offering BYD vehicles, with a further location in Mayfair to follow.
In Germany, the company announced partnerships with seven dealers that will sell and service the Han Esegment sedan, seven seat Tang ESUV and Atto 3 C-SUV. These were, in Munich (Reisacher), Berlin (Stern Auto), Hamburg (Stern Partner), Stuttgart (Hedin), Frankfurt (Torpedo), Cologne (Senger) and Ravensburg (Reiss).
Daimler Truck is a German truck manufacturer and was recognized in the Business Expansion, Innovation and Investments categories.
The company scored well in 2023 rankings due to its investment in the development of digital engineering platforms, research and development and new electric and hydrogen vehicles.
In one notable project the company entered a partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software on the development of a digital engineering platform that will allow Daimler Truck to further commercial vehicle innovation and the efficient product development and lifecycle management of trucks and buses.
Part of this future vehicle development is electric trucks, and the company has already started production on the Mercedes-Benz eEconic, the second electric truck in the range and one designed for urban waste disposal use.
Jaguar Land Rover (Tata Motors)
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was a Category Award Winner for Environmental, Innovation and Investments in the 2023 Awards due to its efforts in investments into research and staff training, attempts to improve the environmental impact of its supply chain, and the implementation of navigation innovations into its vehicles.
One of the company’s most notable projects during the research period saw it invite its 5,000 Tier 1 suppliers to commit to sustainability targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and help reach carbon net zero emissions across its supply chain, products, and operations by 2039.
This includes disclosing carbon reporting and collaborating with their supply chains to deliver the same reductions.
The company was a Category Award Winner in three areas in the 2023 Awards due to its investments in manufacturing and recycling capacity, and the development of a new plastic material for EV batteries.
One of the company’s most notable highlights during the research period was its announcement of the development of a highly heat resistant plastic, which it says can significantly delay thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
The company’s in-house tests showed the material prevented flame propagation for over 400 seconds above 1,000 degrees, 45 times longer than general flame-retardant plastics, allowing more time for the safe evacuation of vehicle occupants in the case of a battery fire.