A more sustainable motor industry is one which needs to champion change across the board – and in more ways than simply going ‘green’. 

It’s easy to get swept up in the festivities as the end of the year approaches. And at Carparison we have a lot to celebrate as we near the end of the 2023.

This year we’ve started some exciting new partnerships.

We’ve scooped an innovative marketing award for the third year running.

And of course, we’ve got the best team in the industry here at Carparison HQ.

But we haven’t got where we are by being complacent.

A big part of our success has come from innovation and being willing to take risks, to do things differently from our competitors.

Just like the ULEZ expansion is working to clean up London’s atmosphere from toxic car fumes, we’re working hard to challenge all the negative stereotypes that smother our industry.

But there is still further to go.

And as 2023 comes to a close, it seems only fitting that we reflect not just on our own achievements, but what changes the industry still needs to make for a more equal and sustainable future for us all.


What does a green revolution really mean? 

Reducing carbon emissions is a crucial part of meeting global climate targets.

And as a traditionally emission-heavy industry, transitioning to electric vehicles is the first and most immediate way we can drive change.

But it’s also an opportunity for big names and manufacturers to clean up their acts and truly tackle some of the lingering criticisms of the motor trade.

You only need to look at the ongoing Tesla strike in Sweden to see that the status-quo is not working anymore.

What we want is more compassionate, socially conscious leadership from the big players at the table. Because going ‘green’ is not as simple as just pushing EVs over petrol and diesel engines into the market and hoping for the best.

It’s looking at where supplies are sourced from and making sure employees are not exploited.

It’s looking at representation within the industry, from leadership positions, down to the shop floor.

It’s examining the unconscious bias that informs so much of the messaging around car advertising and finding ways to be more inclusive.

The future of the motor industry should achieve two things: making sure it’s more sustainable and making sure everyone has a fair and open seat at the table. 


Fair pay and fair prices

Ask anyone who is hesitating to make the switch to an electric car and they’ll be able to list a whole host of reasons why they’re not ready.

Resale value? Concerns over battery longevity? Ease of access to public charging? We’ve heard them all.

But one of the most troubling considerations is probably over lithium-ion battery production.

Specifically, we’re talking about the mining of the essential materials that go into EV batteries. On a human level, we’re worried about who exactly is mining them and whether they are fairly paid for their labour.

Mining is a bit of a controversial industry on its own unfortunately.

Many mining companies operate in countries where exploitation is rife. Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, has come under fire from Amnesty International in recent years because of child labour issues in its cobalt mines.

And with EV’s growing ever more popular, the demands on the mining industry are only going to get bigger. So, car manufacturers have a moral responsibility to leverage fair working conditions for the miners who supply them with the crucial raw material we need to make our electric cars.

No one wants to think that the batteries in their phones, laptops or even their cars are the result of forced or slave labour. The last thing we need is for batteries to become the ‘blood diamonds’ of the motor trade.

Good news though – there are positive changes on the way.

Battery production in general will need better and stricter oversight. From 2027, all batteries coming into Europe (not just EV ones!) have to come with passports.

These passports will track where the minerals in the batteries come from, along with any details on their environmental impact. This should make it a lot easier to identify the companies supplying the batteries and investigate any human rights abuses.

There are some concerns about who exactly will regulate these passports, but the fact that big players like BMW have signed on is huge.

And Chinese powerhouse BYD is already ahead of the curve with their revolutionary Blade Battery, which is “substantially cobalt free” compared to lithium-ion batteries.

These changes show a willingness to address ethical concerns about EV battery production and hopefully lobby for better as production ramps up.

Because where any item is mass-produced, companies have an ethical responsibility to consider what impact that will have on our planet.

And a moral imperative to properly look after the people who make up the chain of production. 

Female members of our sales team

Fair representation 

If you’ve ever thought of car sales as an old boy’s game, there’s probably a reason for that.

The unfortunate and enduring stereotype is of sleazy salesmen on the shop floor, pushing hard to close a deal that may – or may not – be a great bargain.

And for those of us who aren’t petrol-heads with encyclopaedic levels of car knowledge, that thought can be really off-putting. We don’t want to be talked over. We don’t want to be dismissed, or treated like we’re stupid for asking questions.

But there’s a lingering idea that this is exactly what happens in the motor industry.

A lack of visible diversity within the industry probably has a lot to do with that. Industry research shows that nearly 70% of car buyers have never bought a car from a sales representative who identifies as female.

But it’s not just on the shop floor that women are scarce. It’s estimated that only 20% of the UK’s car industry workforce is female, falling down to a measly 10% at board level.

Of course, there are very talented and hardworking men behind a lot of the industry’s success which rightfully deserves to be celebrated. We would never dispute that!

But there’s a reason that only 22% of car finance contracts are signed by women, even though they make up 48% of all the motorists in the UK. Moving forward, industry leaders need to ask how they can maintain their current levels of success and become more accessible to the female demographic

It’s clear many women don’t feel encouraged to step into and participate in the automotive world, whether as an employee, or as a customer. This is something we’re actively trying to tackle at Carparison, with our award-winning female-only automotive advice line.

We want to encourage more women to feel comfortable and empowered to take the lead in making key financial decisions. To do this, we need to help them feel seen, heard and understood.

But we also want to create a working culture where there are no gender barriers pigeonholing our people into certain roles.

And this needs to start from the top down, with more women moving into visible leadership roles. It’s all about who the right person is – not what gender they are – and we preach this from the top down.

At Carparison, 50% of our senior management identify as female and one of our four company directors is a woman. 

But we’d like to see the industry as a whole make more effort to understand and diversify its approach, not just in retail but across the board – looking at every aspect, from manufacturing, to sales, advertisers and even automotive journalism.

We have to get away from assuming that male is the default and there are so many places we need to do that. Not just in who we hire, but in how we approach our audience.

The weird and wonderful world of car advertising

Marketing is a tricky beast.

A big part of a successful marketing strategy is knowing, understanding and anticipating your audience. For the car industry, this understanding seems to be stuck on ‘male’.


Probably because when the industry got started, it was men who were in a position to buy. Let’s not forget, women couldn’t open their own bank accounts in the UK until 1975.

But despite it coming up on 50 years since women started achieving financial independence, marketing and advertising in the car industry has been slow to catch up with the times.

Even in the last ten years or so, we’ve seen examples of car advertising that are blatantly sexist. 

Do a quick google search and you’ll quickly find that there’s a history of adverts across the motor industry where women are presented as commodities to be used and enjoyed, on the same level as a car.

Some are more overt than others. More recent adverts play up the idea of certain cars being hypermasculine, rather than using women as props to sell them.

Take SUVs.

A lot of the marketing around them excessively focuses on off-roading; rugged terrain, muted colours and a sense that the car will bring man closer to nature – but only the kind with no flowers and limited greenery.

It’s selling the idea of a hypermasculine adventure in a challenging landscape, for the type of male who likes to climb mountains, or traverse deserts. 

But who exactly do these advertisers think are buying or leasing these cars?

While we have no doubt some adventurous drivers out there would love to take a powerful SUV into the wild, most of us aren’t going to do that in our daily lives.

Many SUVs are bought by families for their size, comfort and the sense of safety that comes from the elevated driving position and will be driven primarily in urban areas. And recent studies suggest both men and women find the hypermasculine direction unappealing.

Maybe that’s why the new Range Rover Evoque advert is such a breath of fresh air. It’s a novel approach – not just a woman, but a woman of colour who cannot look away from a new Evoque. She is not there as an object; she is the eyes through which we admire the car.

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In 2023 this shouldn’t be a revolutionary tactic, but it seems someone at Range Rover has finally understood what we already know to be true. When you assume that one half of your audience is an object, you’re not positioning them as potential drivers.

If they’re not a driver, then you’re definitely not inviting them to come to you as a customer.

And in what world does that do anything except alienate almost half your audience? It’s definitely food for thought as we move into 2024.

Keeping up momentum 

Alright, Rishi Sunak has done a bit of a U-turn on the 2030 deadline, but that’s no reason for the motor trade to get complacent about car emissions and their impact on our climate.

It’s more important than ever, in the face of the UK government’s wavering commitment to green policies, that we keep up momentum to phase out fossil fuels on our roads.

For now, this means making the transition to electric vehicles easier, more accessible and more affordable for you. And it’s something we take great pride in doing, whether it’s finding you the best electric car lease deal, or helping you set up a fantastic home-charging solution.

Meanwhile, brands like BYD are hitting the UK with a range of exciting new EV models for us to pick and choose from – and their manifesto is all about new energy solutions with zero-emissions. So, we know they are putting money where their mouth is when it comes to going green.

We’d like to see the head honchos of our industry approach the future with that same commitment to fair, sustainable values.

Want to join the green revolution? An electric car lease could be for you.

Chloe Allen

Chloe Allen

Our Digital Marketing Executive Chloe is in charge of our e-newsletter. There's no one better placed to inform and delight you every month, so keep your eyes peeled for her newsletter hitting an email inbox near you soon.