Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of MotorEasy, explains why he is pleased to be backing the What Car? Awards.
For the second time in our history, MotorEasy returned as headline sponsors for the What Car? Car of the Year Awards (COTY).
Often dubbed the Oscars of the car world, it’s an annual event that can catapult the fortunes of many a car manufacturer. Past winners include a rollcall of big sellers; the Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai and Ford Mondeo to name just three of the forty-six.
With so many different industry programmes deserving of sponsorship, why did I choose to single out What Car? as MotorEasy’s sponsorship partner of choice?
A Shared Vision
For me, the answer is very simple. From its launch in 1978, the What Car? “COTYs”, were designed to be the antidote to hyperbolic events that forever championed the fastest or most expensive cars of the day.
It was an event conceived at the tail end of the 1970s oil crisis heading into the winter of discontent. A time when value for money and practicality were paramount.
As What Car? magazine stated at the time, “a rich person’s car of the year wasn’t going to help anyone”. The objective was simple: to cater for the everyday motorist, recognising the real-world implications of owning and living with a vehicle required for everyday use.
On the dawn of the 1980s, the COTYs also appeared during a time of emerging innovation. Computers and electronics were destined to be part of all our lives, as we embraced technology and expanding international horizons.
Against this backdrop, the COTYs came to embrace values we aspire to at MotorEasy - practicality, value for money and innovation. What’s more, behind those values was a rigorous layer of detail, with cars subjected to a famous three-part testing regime – on road, on track and on paper.
It’s this level of appraisal that I like to think echoes the attention to detail that we at MotorEasy put into our customer service and policy creation – be it our car warranties, GAP Insurance, or our customer account area, designed to help everyday motorists manage their cars.
No Better Time to be Partnered
But shared vision aside, there is a further reason to stand shoulder to shoulder with What Car? this year.
The automotive world is gripped by a period of tremendous change, as manufacturers grapple budgets to invest in big-ticket areas like autonomous driving, alternative fuels and in-car connectivity.
While making these choices, they’re faced with possible shifts in the car ownership model, as car sharing, short-term leasing and online car buying disrupt traditional sales channels.
If that weren’t enough, the pandemic has strained supply chains and curtailed sales. It’s a cocktail of challenges that has forced alliances and mergers between major manufacturers, in a survival of the fittest scenario.
To succeed, car manufacturers will have to do what they have always done; take big investment decisions, design brilliant machines and continue to innovate.
As I look back on the past 45-years of the What Car? Awards, innovation is the defining benchmark that marks the difference amongst all the winners. Back in 1978, the first winner, the Renault 20 was recognised for value-add features like electric windows, power steering and central locking. These were features that, at the time, were typically the reserve of more expensive models.
In much the same way, we at MotorEasy strive to repeat this principle. Our extended warranties for example provide additional levels of cover other providers simply don’t offer. Features like consequential damage cover and wear and tear provision that pay-out where others might seek a get-out.
Our insurance products, such as alloy wheel, tyre and cosmetic cover, provide a generous claim provision, multiple times a year. With their low monthly premiums, they’re an excellent way to protect your car against accidental damage without resorting to your main insurer to pay an expensive “excess” charge.
Value is also a key component in our service, repair and maintenance products. Our relationship with a nationwide network of trusted workshops allows us to factor in trade discounts, helping customers save up to 40% on a service or purchase an MOT for just £29.
This focus on “value add” is also a significant feature of our digital account area, available for free to any motorist or existing MotorEasy member. It’s a place where all motorists can upload and store their details on their cars, keeping a handy reminder as opposed to cumbersome paper-based filing.
Like the industry we represent, MotorEasy takes inspiration from the many manufacturers who push the boundaries and adapt to suit market demand. That’s why we’re proud to be associated with an event like the What Car? COTYs, to celebrate all that is great in the world of automotive.