Darren Jobling


JA: 2021 was another memorable year for everyone and for all sorts of reasons. We had a bumpy recovery from the worst of the Covid pandemic, but the automotive industry was also hammered by a shortage of semiconductor parts. In your business, what stand out as the biggest challenges you faced this year?

DJ: It’s true this year has been one few of us will ever forget. Some legacy carmakers have had to focus their priorities on fulfilling customer orders amid the supply chain issues at the expense of marketing activity. On the other hand, we’ve seen an explosion of activity from new EV brands such as Lucid Motors, which has meant we’ve had a busy year growing the team and our capabilities.

JA: Any high spots or particular successes you’d like to share?

DJ: The continued success of the new EV brands is certainly a highlight for us this year. They’ve started with a blank sheet and been able to completely re-imagine the car shopping journey. For example, people who use Lucid’s immersive cloud-based 3D configurator to discover and spec the Air are twice as likely to make a reservation as those who don’t. That’s a ringing endorsement for a platform that aims to blur the lines between physical and digital, enabling customers to place orders quickly and easily – and with confidence.

JA: How are you feeling about 2022 – both in terms of business prospects and more generally?

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DJ: We’re optimistic, and we continue to look for opportunities that lie within every challenge. Next year will bring massive opportunities in the world of EVs, the emergence of disruptive new sales platform players and a bigger focus on direct-to-consumer sales. What’s more, established carmakers are increasingly embracing digital content as they look to keep up with influential EV start-ups.

JA: Is anything emerging as a particular concern in terms of the outlook?

DJ: Inflation is now at a 10-year high, largely caused by higher energy and fuel costs. If this trend plays out globally, businesses and consumers will continue to be impacted, which may affect growth and the recovery.

JA: Do you have a message for Just Auto’s readers?

DJ: Don’t worry, be happy!